Rockets news: Chris Paul laments loss to Timberwolves before All-Star break
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Rockets’ Chris Paul laments loss to Timberwolves before All-Star break

Chris Paul, Rockets

James Harden was able to extend his streak of 30-point games with a 42-point night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, but the Houston Rockets blew a six-point lead at the half to eventually take a 121-111 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves before hitting the All-Star break. Point guard Chris Paul lamented the defensive lapses in the second half that led to the loss:

“We got to figure it out. We sucked on the defensive end tonight,” said Paul, according to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle. “We’ve had too many nights like that this year where it feels like we can’t get a stop. The way they were scoring it was almost effortless. We just couldn’t stop them.”

The Rockets have struggled maintaining their discipline and consistency at both ends of the floor, a trend head coach Mike D’Antoni has noticed in the last three games:

“We didn’t come out with any fire,” he said. “We don’t put people away. We let them hang around. Then they make some 3s. It happened on Saturday. It happened tonight. We have to get a little more enthusiasm about playing a game.”

Houston has lost two of its last three games, but Harden has been on fire for the past two months, averaging 40 or more points for 34 straight games now, moving past Elgin Baylor for the second-longest stretch. But even he admitted he needs a break from it all before heading to the mid-February festivities:

“Everybody needs a break,” said Harden laughing. “I need a break from you.”

The Rockets are now in fifth place in the West, a game behind the Portland Trail Blazers with only 25 games left in the regular season.