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. They chanted “One more three! One more three!” during the final moments.
Warriors coach Mark Jackson, however, wasn’t going to let that happen.
Houston tied the record with 3:39 left in the fourth when Donatas Motiejunas buried a triple from the corner, much to the delight of the Rockets bench that had starters James Harden and Jeremy Lin cheering on the reserves to break the record.
So, Jackson ordered his Warriors to stop the three parade by intentionally fouling any Houston player who got the ball. 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 Warriors got a ton of heat from Rockets fans for raining on their 3-ball fun, but Jackson was unapologetic afterwards.
“We’re not gonna lay down. I’m an old-school basketball player, I’m an old-school coach,” Jackson told the media. “You can’t appreciate that that’s on you. You gonna try to get the record we’re gonna stop you. There’s a way to do it that’s all. And I expect nothing less if I was on the other side.”
Kevin McHale, another old-school player with an old-school mentality, appeared to engage in a very heated conversation with Jackson at midcourt after the Warriors’ Draymond Green committed a hard foul on Patrick Beverley as he tried to shoot a three. Green and Morris were ejected. But McHale quickly defused any animosity toward Jackson during his postgame press conference, telling reporters he had no issue with Jackson’s end-game strategy.
“I didn’t even know we had a chance to break the record until late in the game,” McHale said. “We shoot a lot of threes, that’s what we do. Mark didn’t want it to happen so they fouled. I have no problem with that. Mark has to coach his team.”
Here’s a question to the Golden State Warriors: Why did they allow 23 3-pointers in the first place? They could have stopped this madness much sooner by challenger Lin (5-for-8 on threes), Harden (4-for5), Chandler Parsons (4-for-8), and Marcus Morris (3-for-6) and run them off the 3-point line. Instead, Jackson and the Warriors waited until the final four minutes of the game to do something about it.
Looks like the Warriors’ defense needs some work to do.