From Comcast SportsNetHOUSTON (AP) -- The Houston fans knew the Rockets were on the verge of history against Golden State on Tuesday night, needing one more 3-pointer to set an NBA record.Warriors coach Mark Jackson wasn't going to let that happen.The Rockets settled for tying an NBA record and set a franchise mark with 23 3-pointers in a 140-109 win over the Warriors. Houston matched the single-game record for 3s set by Orlando in a win over Sacramento on Jan. 13, 2009.The Toyota Center crowd realized the outright record was within reach in the final three minutes, chanting "One more 3!" But the Warriors took away Houston's chances of getting it by fouling at the end."We're not going to lay down," Jackson said. "If you're going to try to get the record, we're going to stop it."The Warriors should've employed that plan sooner.Jeremy Lin sank five 3-pointers, a career high, and Chandler Parsons and James Harden hit four apiece as the Rockets reached a season-high point total. They also tied an NBA record with 14 3-pointers in the first half and dished out a season-high 35 assists on 46 field goals overall."Thankfully, we were just able to get a bunch of open looks and knock them down," Lin said. "That's just the way it is sometimes."Lin scored 28 points, Harden added 18 and Parsons had 16 for Houston. The Rockets put on the shooting display without their best 3-point shooter -- Carlos Delfino, who sat out with a right elbow injury."We just got hot tonight," Harden said.Jarrett Jack scored 20 points and David Lee had 18 for the Warriors. Stephen Curry, averaging 21 points per game, scored only seven points on 3-for-12 shooting.Houston set a Toyota Center scoring record and reached 140 points for the first time since April 1995."Throughout the whole game, you figured they'd cool off," Curry said. "But we have to force them to take tougher shots. You just can't give them open looks."The Rockets were 18 of 27 from 3-point range through three quarters. They finally hit a dry spell early in the fourth, missing their first three 3-point attempts. It didn't last long -- Marcus Morris connected on a 3 from the wing and Parsons flashed him a smile as the two trotted back down the court.With the outcome decided, Rockets coach Kevin McHale pulled his starters with 5:49 left, leaving the pursuit of the NBA record to the reserves. By then, everyone on Houston bench knew the record was within reach."Obviously, the amount of 3s we hit is pretty ridiculous," Parsons said. "We were open, and nobody is going to turn down open shots."The fans were ready to explode anticipating the record-setting 3. Reserve point guard Patrick Beverley drove for a one-handed dunk with 1:04 remaining, prompting a mix of cheers and groans.Beverley took a hard foul from Draymond Green on a 3-point try with 34 seconds left. Beverley and Green snapped at one another, prompting a heated argument between several players. Green and Morris were ejected."Some nights, it's not your night and it wasn't ours and we didn't play particularly well," Jackson said. "That doesn't mean, lay down and surrender. That's not in our DNA."But the Warriors had to be a bit demoralized, because the Rockets seemed to make every outside shot they took. They went 7 for 10 from 3-point range in the first quarter and 14 for 18 in the first half. Milwaukee had 14 3s in a half against Phoenix in March 2006 and New York matched that total twice last season -- against Portland on March 14 and against Boston on April 17.Curry, though, had the most spectacular shot before the break, just beating the buzzer with a half-court shot to cut Houston's lead to 77-62.But Golden State's perimeter defense was no better in the third quarter, and 3-pointers by Parsons and Lin stretched the gap past 20. Harrison Barnes ran out to guard Lin on his next 3-point attempt, and Lin blew by him for a layup and an 87-64 Houston lead."They were hitting the open looks, they were hitting the contested shots," Lee said. "And then when they hit outside jumpers, their shot fake works because you have to close out tighter. They shot the ball great, really from top to bottom."Notes: The Warriors have lost 15 of their last 17 games against the Rockets, and nine in a row in Houston. ... Golden State dropped to 8-1 this season when scoring at least 30 points in the first quarter. ... The Rockets set season highs for first-quarter and first-half points. ... Houston had never had more than 17 3-pointers in a game.
There will be some that will absolutely crucify the Bruins for losing Colin Miller in Wednesday night’s expansion draft, and rail against an asset that was lost for nothing. Those people will also miss the absolutely essential point that the whole raison d’etre for an expansion draft is to remove assets from each of the 30 NHL teams, and do it without a cost for the benefit of the new franchise opening up shop in Las Vegas.
It could have been much worse for the Black and Gold as some teams were shipping first round picks to Vegas to shelter their own players from expansion selection, and other teams were losing essential players like James Neal, Marc Methot and David Perron from their respective rosters. The B’s didn’t entertain overpaying simply to avoid losing a useful player, and clearly, they did lose a talented, still undeveloped player in the 24-year-old Miller, who now may be flipped to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a side deal with Vegas.
But let’s be honest here. A whole lot of people are vastly overestimating a player in Miller that’s long on tools and very short on putting them together, and they’re also vastly underestimating Kevan Miller. The younger Miller can skate like the wind and has a bazooka of a shot when he winds up and fires his clapper at the net.
But despite those clear offensive talents, Colin had the same number of points as stay-at-home defenseman Kevan this season despite the bigger, stronger and older Miller playing three less games this season. Kevan also had more goals (five) and more points (18) than Colin did two years ago in his rookie season for Boston.
This isn’t to say that Colin doesn’t have more discernible offensive skill than Kevan when it comes to moving the puck or creating offense. He does, but all that talent hasn’t manifested into real points, real offense or anything else for the Black and Gold over the last couple of seasons. At a certain point, a prospect like Colin needs to put all the tools together into production on the ice if he wants to become the sum of his hockey parts, and that hasn’t happened in two full seasons in Boston.
Instead, Miller continues to struggle with decision-making with the puck, consistency and finding ways to turn the quality skating and shot package into any kind of playmaking on the ice. Miller had his challenges defensively and he was never going to be the most physical guy on the ice, but those could have been overlooked if he was lighting it up in the offensive zone on a regular basis.
Plain and simple that wasn’t happening, and over the last season 20-year-old Brandon Carlo and 19-year-old Charlie McAvoy passed Miller on the organizational depth chart for right shot defenseman, and either Adam McQuaid or Kevan Miller would slot in as the third pairing D-man on the right side. It’s clear at this point that Colin Miller needs more time and patience if he’s ever going to develop as a late-blooming defenseman at the NHL level, and he wasn’t going to get those opportunities to develop in Boston.
So how good can Colin Miller really be if he was about to get buried on a Boston defensive depth chart without much hope of being in the starting six every night unless he was able to magically transform himself into a top-4 guy on the left side?
Clearly, there is risk here as Miller could move on to Toronto, develop into the player that posted 19 goals and 52 points in the AHL a couple of seasons ago and torment the Bruins for the next five-plus years. It would become another arrow in the quiver of those critics looking to hammer GM Don Sweeney and President Cam Neely at every turn, and it would generate massive “Why can’t we get players like that?” homages to the legendary Bob Lobel all across New England.
But there’s just as good a chance that Kevan Miller will still be throwing hits and soaking up heavy minutes of ice time for the Bruins three years down the road, and that Colin Miller will be out of the league after never harnessing together his considerable talent. Perhaps Sweeney could have been better about securing an asset for Miller ahead of the expansion draft if he knew he was going to lose that player for nothing to Vegas.
The bottom line is that the Bruins were going to lose somebody to Las Vegas in the expansion draft, and the Golden Knights weren’t going to do them any favors by taking on misfit toys like Jimmy Hayes, Malcolm Subban or Matt Beleskey. They did instead lose a player with plenty of raw talent in Colin Miller, but it’s not exactly somebody that’s going to be missed in Boston once Carlo and McAvoy start showing just how bright the B’s future is on the back end starting next season.
A. Sherrod Blakely joins Toucher & Rich to discuss what it would take for the Celtics to trade for Kristaps Porzingis.