Houston Rockets finally end their 20th straight losing streak with a win over Toronto Raptors on Monday.
Houston was having a hard time winning the championship last season, even in James Harden’s presence.
This season goes even worst for the Rockets with James traded, players’ injuries, and consecutive losses.
Their losing streak never seems to come to an end. Ever since it started on February 6 after they lost to San Antonia Spurs.
Just 24 hours after their emotional 20th straight loss, that extends their losing streak to the worst in franchise history.
They finally got the night they always wanted; their long losing streak ended with a win over the Raptors.
The last win Houston had was on February 5 against Memphis Grizzlies, where they scored 115 points.
Then they lost to San Antonio Spurs by five points, 111-106. After the loss, they never were able to get the win.
In their previous game, the Rockets were four seconds away from receiving their first victory since Feb. 4 in a 114-112 loss to the thunders.
They lost by two points and extended their losses to 20th, which made their losing streak the worst of the franchise history.
The first win after 20th straight losses
These losses were a big blow to not only the players but, more importantly, to Houston’s Rookie head coach Stephen Silas.
He was visibly upset in his postgame news conference Sunday. When asked about his losing streak, he was speechless and upset.
What seemed like a never-ending dream came to halt after 20 games.
On March 22, Monday, they won against the Raptors by 18 points 24 hours after the emotional loss to Oklahoma city thunder.
To end the losing streak, John Wall dropped his first Triple-doubles after five years. Wall had 19 points, 10 assists, and 11 rebounds.
His first triple-double since Feb. 5, 2016. That helped the Rockets get their first win since Feb. 4.
All five Houston starters scored in double figures by midway through the third quarter.
Houston ended the third quarter with an 88-86 lead and opened the fourth quarter with a 9-1 run.
Houston had a rough start with Wall receiving a technical foul for a third straight game after arguing with an official five minutes into the first quarter.
Wood picked up his third personal foul less than three minutes into the second quarter, which limited him to just eight scoreless first-half minutes.
It seemed like Houston was going to extend their losing streak to another game for the first half.
After the first half, Houston pulled through and went on to win the game-ending their losing streak. They handed Toronto Raptors their 9th straight losses.
Houston almost was on the way to break the record for the longest losing streak.
On March 21, Houston made a record for the longest losing streak in franchise history.
They tied for the ninth-worst in NBA history and the longest since Philadelphia’s record-setting 28-game losing streak across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
The Rockets were six losses from the single-season record and eight losses from the record for the longest losing streak.
But the win on Monday night broke the streak and prevented them from setting the record.
This win has given a smile and hopes to Houston’s players and especially the teams’ coach, who was distraught after the loss the night before.
Several current and former NBA coaches reached out to Silas over the past 24 hours, offering encouragement and support.
Those conversations helped lift Silas’ spirits which soared when the final buzzer sounded Monday night in the Toyota Center, and the first-year coach embraced Houston point guard John Wall.
“It’s like indescribable for a win in March of this crazy season,” Silas said. “I’m just so proud of the guys.
When you’re like going through it and fighting so hard.
And you see the disappointment in the players’ faces after loss after loss after loss.
Then to go into the locker room after today’s game, and everybody’s just happy and joyous. I mean, it’s super cool and great.
“Yeah, whatever, I was down and out yesterday. It seems like a week ago now.
We regroup, come together, and yeah, it feels a lot better just because I know it feels great for them.
Like, whatever for me, but I’m just so happy for those guys that they don’t have to hear about it and deal with it.”
Reason for the losing streak
Houston had won seven of eight games before the losing streak and had a good start in the season.
But after star center Christian Wood severely sprained his ankle in that victory against Grizzlies, sidelining him for the next 17 games.
Houston had several other key injuries during the losing streak, including guards Victor Oladipo, Eric Gordon, and Wall missing extended stretches.
The Rockets also reached a mutual decision with teams forward P.J. Tucker to part ways.
After he decided not to play in the first game after the All-Star break, eventually trading him to the Milwaukee Bucks.
Due to all the above, Houston had to play in the NBA with even a minimum of eight players in some games during the streak.
Even so, they put all their effort and played each game in the hope of winning.
“Losing 20 straight, we haven’t been healthy, but that’s not an excuse.
Because everybody’s been going through health and safety protocols and injuries,” said John Wall, who had triple-double in the game.
“We just went out there and competed, no matter what and what was going on.”
The Rockets never dropped the lead over the Raptors after going ahead late in the second quarter.
Houston forward Danuel House Jr. hit a 51-foot shot to beat the halfcourt buzzer, giving the Rockets’ lead to five points.
“I was like, ‘Whoa, well, maybe this is the night. Maybe,'” Silas said.
“We’ve had games where we only hit four 3-pointers the whole game. Now we hit a half-court shot.
It felt like something special could happen. For us, special is a win after so many losses in a row.”
“It’s about damn time, man,” said Christian Wood, who scored all 19 of his points in the second half. “It’s about damn time.”
Houston still has a long way to go before they fully celebrate, but this win was special to them.