The Houston Rockets have taken GM Daryl Morey's penchant for valuing the most efficient shots, 3-pointers and layups, and Mike D'Antoni's quick-tempo, quick-decision, free-flowing, open-choice offense and brought into some sort of hybrid nuclear mutant.
The Rockets set a record for most 3-pointers made in a game and most 3-pointers attempted in a game Friday night, hitting 24 threes and taking an absolutely insane 61, in a 122-100 win over the New Orleans Pelicans. The 24 made 3-pointers is a new NBA record for a regular-season game. The NBA record for any game, playoffs or regular season, is 25 by the Cleveland Cavaliers last spring.
And the 61 attempts is a full 11 attempts more than the previous record set by ... these Houston Rockets back on Nov. 25 against the Kings.
Just as shocking? The number could have been higher. Ryan Anderson missed six of eight 3-pointers. Sam Dekker went 1-of-5. But James Harden and Eric Gordon combined to shoot a ridiculous 13-of-25 from range. The Rockets have always been on the forefront of the 3-point revolution, but they are taking it to new levels under D'Antoni.
Part of the reason they hoist so many is simple spacing and personnel. They have guys whose conversion rate on 3-pointers is likely better possession by possession on quick threes than on attacks at the rim. They are, to a degree, playing to their strengths. And that makes it difficult for the opponent to keep pace offensively.
The Rockets have won nine straight as Harden, who finished with a triple-double, continues his MVP candidacy.