As much as the Rockets have returned to their running ways since last facing the Nuggets, in many regards their offensive improvement can be traced to another aspect of their game.

"The key is probably their rebounding," Nuggets coach George Karl said. "When they rebound, they run really well."

The Rockets out-rebounded their previous three opponents by an average of 11 per game, outscoring them by an average of 24-6 on the break.

"Rebounding is huge," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We have to get rebounds and we have to get out and run. The big thing for us in our pace game is to make sure that one of our two bigs is outrunning their big and one of our three wing guys is outrunning their guys and somehow we'll have numbers.

"That turns a lot of 3-on-3s and 4-on-4s into 4-on-3s, and 3-on-2s."

Karl also had a theory about how the Rockets revived their running game since his team's win in Houston last week.

"I think our game motivated them," Karl said. "They are much more serious about their running game. They had seemed to have lost a little of their demand of running. In the … Brooklyn game and the Utah game, they were great."

Turnover woes a team problem

James Harden went from committing 15 turnovers in two games to a pair of turnover-free outings prior to Wednesday.

In his previous two matchups against the Nuggets he had 13 turnovers, with Denver among the league's most active teams at loading up on him and still covering the passing lanes. But Rockets coach Kevin McHale said the correction needed isn't an opponent-specific one and involves more than just Harden's play.

"We turned the ball over a lot against them," McHale said. "It's the whole team just trying to force stuff that is not there. Sometimes you just have to make the determination that you're going to have to pass the ball to get them off of you. We have to do a better job against that as a team."