The Houston Rockets' winning percentage has dipped significantly over the past week, but their confidence has not. The Rockets' primary concern in the wake of losing three consecutive games, a rough stretch that came immediately after a 14-game winning streak, is getting key injured players healthy. "We'll be all right. That's it. That's all it is," guard James Harden said after a 112-107 loss Monday night to the Oklahoma City Thunder. "Guys are playing a little bit too many minutes. Our defense isn't really there consistently, and our offense, we aren't making shots like we need to be. We'll be all right. It's a part of it. We've just got to fight through it. It's a long season." Guard Chris Paul has missed the past two games with a strained left adductor, and the Rockets hope that he can play in one of the two games in the upcoming road back-to-back against the Boston Celtics and Washington Wizards. Key reserve forward Luc Mbah a Moute has been out since dislocating his right shoulder Dec. 13 and could miss another two weeks. Center Clint Capela returned Monday after missing three of the previous four games due to a bruised left heel. Houston has lost only one of the 16 games that they have had Paul, whose return from the monthlong absence due to a bruised left knee sparked the Rockets' long winning streak. The Rockets (25-7) have slipped to second in the Western Conference standings, a game behind the Golden State Warriors. Coach Mike D'Antoni said he has "no doubts" that the Rockets will soon return to elite status, alluding to how much Houston has missed Paul, who exited early in the fourth quarter of last week's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers that started the rough stretch.
Rockets confident of return to form after three-game skid: 'No doubts'
ESPN | Dec 26