What the Rockets had to say about 111-104 win over the Pelicans (4/12/14)

Rockets Coach Kevin McHale
On going with the small line up
“We were having a tough time with the bigger line up. With (Luke) Babbitt popping we were getting all kinds of problems out there. He was eight for eighteen but he was four for eight from the three point line. We just decided to go small and keep it spread out a little bit more and give our drivers a little more room to attack Jeremy (Lin) and James (Harden). We put shooters out there. One thing Troy (Daniels) has proven is he can do that.”

On defense in the last two minutes
“We had that stretch in the second quarter where we got so discombobulated. They were getting threes and we were switching the wrong stuff. We did everything humanly possible wrong in the second quarter. They (Pelicans) had thirty-nine in that quarter and they had sixty-five (points) the rest of the game. We kind of got our defense better. Monty (Williams) has that team playing tough. They're a tough team. They execute and do their thing. We had to kind of pull a rabbit out of our hat tonight.”

On Patrick Beverley and Dwight Howard's play
“Pat made two huge threes. He was aggressive defensively. I thought Dwight was fantastic defensively.. We didn't give him the ball as much. We were trying to spread and he (Dwight) was picking and rolling. I thought Dwight did a tremendous job of controlling the middle. He got blocked shots and came over. He got his hands on balls. I thought he and Omer (Asik) were good in tandem. I played them probably more than I really wanted to by about six to eight minutes but they both said they were feeling fine and wanted to win the game and we needed that win.”

Rockets guard Patrick Beverley
On how he felt
“In the second half I tried to get my wind but we fought today. We showed the character of this team. J-Lin (Jeremy) played phenomenal, James (Harden) played phenomenal and Dwight (Howard) stepped up. Rook (Troy Daniels) stepped up. That was a big win for us.”

On the importance of the win
“We just wanted to get our momentum back. We understood we were going to come in slow. Me and Dwight have not been in the starting line up for almost two weeks so we understood we were going to come out a little rusty, which we did. We kind of got our groove back in the second half.”

Rockets guard James Harden
On getting back in the game
“All the small things. We were trying to make home run plays. Our mindset was to grab rebounds. We were getting to loose balls, offensive rebounds and things like that. So, we couldn't get out in transition but in the fourth quarter we kind of buckled down a little bit, got some stops and finally made some shots.”

On how big the win was
“Key. We needed this win more than anything, especially for our confidence having Patrick (Beverley) and Dwight (Howard) back. Just to give ourselves a little cushion and to hopefully lock down that four seed but this game was critical for us.”

On the importance of having Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley back and Patrick's minutes
“Coach said he wasn't going to play them that many minutes today, but they kind of worked themselves in but we needed them tonight and they stepped up. Dwight made a great defensive effort late in the game and Patrick knocking down two big three pointers, so I'm were happy for those guys to come back.”

Rockets center Dwight Howard
On how he felt playing in his first game back from injury
“I think in the first quarter I needed an oxygen mask. I was pretty tired but I just kept playing and just tried to get in rhythm. The first game is always tough to come back. I think Pat (Beverley) had an excellent game and hit some shots late in the game. At the beginning of the game he was rushing his threes but in the second half he calmed down and knocked them down. I was happy to seem him back being aggressive.”

On the importance of the win
“It was very important. Each game is important. We can't overlook any team. That team (New Orleans) was without some of their key players but they came in and they played hard. It doesn't matter if it is game eighty-one or game one, you've got to treat every opponent the same way.”

Rockets guard Jeremy Lin
On the win
“They (New Orleans) definitely played well. They played hard and some might say they even deserved to win the game. They came through with a lot of guys that don't normally probably even play in their rotation but we were able to come back and get this. It's kind of been a trend that we were trying to break right now, of having to come back.”

On the Rockets playing their fourth game in five nights with minimal practice time
“We literally haven't practiced with them (Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley) since they got hurt so this is our fourth game in five nights. So, practice has been nonexistent. We kind of had to figure it out on the fly in the middle of it today. There were definitely some rough patches but at the end of the day we walked away with the win and we are one more win away from home court advantage and we are going to have a little bit of time to kind of shore some things up going into the playoffs.”

Rockets guard Troy Daniels
On playing two games today, one in D-League and one here
“It's a great experience. It's my job to play in both games. Coach called my number and I was ready.”

On how comfortable he felt out there
“The first run down the court I was a little nervous but after that it was just a basketball game after that.”