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Mike D’Antoni sees positives in Rockets’ 3-game losing streak

Mike D'Antoni, Rockets

The Houston Rockets, coached by Mike D’Antoni, have been uncharacteristically slumping in their last three games, absorbing their third straight defeat on Saturday versus the Los Angeles Lakers at the Toyota Center.

Speaking to reporters after the 115-124 loss they received at home, Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni addressed the team’s recent tough stretch, where they also succumbed to Western Conference counterparts Portland Trail Blazers and Memphis Grizzlies.

“We’re not playing well right now. We haven’t played well for a couple weeks. … It’s not fun for anybody but we can get out of this,” he said, per Ben Golliver.

Houston and Mike D’Antoni were doing pretty well against the league’s number two team in the first half, up until a third-quarter collapse dimmed their chances of getting the W. The Rockets were outscored 32-17 in the penultimate quarter, which negated their chances even after a strong showing in the fourth period.

The Rockets’ two superstars Russell Westbrook and James Harden stuffed the stat sheet with 35 and 34 points, respectively, but figured in yet another inefficient night. D’Antoni has seen this scenario a lot. Westbrook surprisingly did not attempt a single three-pointer in 40 minutes of action, while Harden figured in another off night (8-of-20 FG, 2-for-9 3-PT) and made most of his points from the line.

Despite the unwelcome losing streak, Mike D’Antoni is not pushing the panic button just yet. He still lauded the Rockets for showing some fight against the Lakers.

“If we had played this hard the last two games, we’d be on a one-game losing streak, not three. … We’re shaking a little bit, but we’re not down,” he added.

The Rockets and Mike D’Antoni dropped to 26-15 in the season, and are now behind the Dallas Mavericks (27-15) for sixth place in the NBA Western Conference.