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Rockets’ James Harden, P.J. Tucker explain what Houston must do better defensively

James Harden, P.J. Tucker, Rockets

If the Houston Rockets are going to climb up the Western Conference standings, star shooting guard James Harden and forward P.J. Tucker know the team has to be better on the defensive side of the ball.

Scoring will never be an issue for Houston. They are currently averaging 113.1 points per game, which is 11th in the NBA. After having a top-10 defense last season, though, the Rockets haven’t been elite on that side of the floor this season.

Houston is giving up 111.1 points per game, 14th in the league. Speaking to local reporters on Wednesday, both P.J. Tucker and James Harden talked about what the club has to do to become a good defensive squad again, per Alykhan Bijani of The Athletic:

The return of starting center Clint Capela will surely help the Rockets play better defense. Capela missed 15 consecutive games after undergoing surgery on his right thumb to address torn ligaments, but he is expected to play on Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center after participating in practice on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Rockets are 33-24 on the season, fifth place in the Western Conference standings. The players have said they want to get up to the third seed in the West.