On one side of the coin Wednesday night, there was Brandon Jennings producing the NBA’s first 20-point, 20-assist game since 2009 in a 128-118 Pistons victory over the Orlando Magic. Then on the other side of the coin, or country for that matter, there was Josh Smith and the Houston Rockets.
Squaring off with the Golden State Warriors for the second time in three games, the Rockets had some trash talk to back up this time around after star guard James Harden was caught on camera before his team’s 131-106 loss to the Warriors on Saturday saying, “They ain’t even that good.”
The Warriors wasted no time disputing Harden’s claim. Golden State raced out to a 20 point lead at halftime before ballooning the score disparity to as much as 30 at one point in the second half. It was in the midst of this run that the wheels really began to fall off for the Rockets.
After Trevor Ariza was whistled for a technical foul early in the third for bumping into Stephen Curry, tension began to mount. Late in the third, emotions completely boiled over after former Piston Josh Smith careened into the lane and ran into a stationary defender, resulting in contact and a turnover. Smith did not take kindly to the no-call, rolling to the ball toward official Trey Maddox, delivering a potent dosage of profanity along the way. Maddox assessed one tech, quickly followed by an ejection after Smith continued actively voicing his displeasure.
In all, Smith finished with 5 points and 2 assists (both of which came on impressive lobs to Dwight Howard) in a 126-113 Rockets loss. The loss moves Houston to 9-7 with Smith in action. They were 20-7 prior to his acquisition.