NBA Christmas Day games provide some of the biggest matchups in the NBA. Often serving as a preview of what's to come in April, May, and June, these slate of games is a big test for hopeful teams.
For the Rockets, however, it should have been light work.
Pitted up against the 7-24 Warriors, Houston should have dominated against their clearly inferior opponent. Instead, they somehow lost, falling victim to the biggest upset of the day.
Among other things, it may have had something to do with James Hardens' comparatively subpar performance. He scored just 24 points and, more importantly, was a whopping 0-0 from the free-throw line. It's only the fifth time in his career with the Rockets that he has not attempted a free-throw.
Love it hate it, Harden is a wizard at getting to the line. So for Harden, who is so crafty at making plays with the basketball and drawing fouls, it's rather bizarre for him to not get a single call in 38 minutes on the floor.
The Rockets, no doubt, let their guard down tonight as they took the embarrassing Christmas L. Hopefully, they can bounce back next game.