The Rockets had an entertaining 2012-13 campaign filled with some amazing plays.
The Houston Rockets had a positive season full of spectacular plays in 2012-13.
Through all the ups and downs last season, the Rockets exceeded expectations with their first playoff appearance in four years. They lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round, but not before a large handful of dazzling plays.
The plays are judged on two factors: the incredibility and the situation. The list is full of eye-opening passes, blocks and, of course, dunks. However, plays that changed a game or had playoff implications take precedence over a great play that didn't mean anything.
Here's a look at the top plays from the Rockets this past season.
James Harden is known for his incredible scoring ability, but he can also drop a sweet dime from time-to-time.
It's hard to tell from the first angle, but in the replay you can clearly see Harden's pass go through the legs of Spencer Hawes. Nothing is quite as humiliating as having the ball go right between your legs. The five-hole pass can make an elite defender look silly.
On what looked like a broken play, Harden made the no-look pass look like second nature and gave Greg Smith the easy layup. The best part about this play is that Hawes almost steps into the path of the ball as it goes right between his legs.
The Rockets won this game in a blowout, 125-103. The play took place as the Rockets started to run away with it, but the pass is still worth a second look.
This play is just like the last one, but this time as a result of the pick-and-roll. Harden finds Marcus Morris for the layup on the bounce pass right between Robert Sacre's legs.
This game was also a blowout. The Rockets beat the Lakers 125-112. Houston had one of the best offenses in the league last year, which didn't bode well for the Lakers' poor defense. This advantage was evident in this play which resulted in the easy basket.
Patrick Beverley was the backup for Jeremy Lin last season. Standing at 6'1'', Beverley has big hops for a small guard.
With less than two minutes to play in the game, the Spurs were holding on to a mere four-point lead over Houston. The Rockets had not beaten their division rivals all season long, falling just short in a couple of those tries. This game was also starting to slip away, before Beverley saved the day.
On the fast break, the Spurs had a 3-on-1 advantage. Beverley came out of nowhere to block Danny Green, and Harden collected the rebound. Going the other way, Parsons got open and converted on the transition three to bring the Rockets within one.
If Beverley hadn't hustled back and blocked Green, the Spurs would have had a six-point lead with a minute and change left in the game. Instead, the Rockets got within a point of the best team in the West.
There's more to come from this game later on in the list.
As mentioned at the end of the last video, Beverley does in fact block the great Dirk Nowitzki.
This block also occurred late in a close game, and although the Rockets lost this one in the final minutes, Beverley kept the game close with a huge defensive play. Point guard Beverley came up with a huge block on the seven footer.
As you can see, this game was an intense one between to Texas teams. Dirk did not appreciate getting blocked, and he took out his frustration with a hard foul on Carlos Delfino.
In the heat of the moment against a rival team, Beverley's block on the future hall-of-famer was worthy of a spot on the countdown.
James Harden had a career night against his former team. He scored a career-high 46 points in a 122-119 win against the Thunder.
The Rockets were playing from behind the entire game. They had just made the trade with the Sacramento Kings, giving up Toney Douglas and Patrick Patterson for Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia. Marcus Morris was also shipped off to Phoenix, which left the Rockets with only nine players on their roster for the entirety of this game.
As the third quarter was coming to a close, Harden connected on this half-court heave to keep the Rockets in striking distance. It's always nice to show your old team why letting you go was a mistake, and Harden did just that.
Harden couldn't miss this game, even from beyond 40 feet, in a comeback win for the ages against his former teammates.
The Rockets loved to get out on the fastbreak last season. The young Rockets could run older teams right out of the building.
Every possession, miss or make, the Rockets would be ready to run down the floor to catch the other team in transition. In this play, Parsons takes off once the shot goes up. Harden gets the rebound and finds Parsons with the long pass in traffic for the slam.
This play was in Game 6 against OKC in the playoffs. The Rockets were in a must-win situation, and they were trying to get off to a hot start. Parsons' dunk gave the Rockets an early nine-point lead and got the crowd into the game.
The Rockets did lose this game, but the beautiful pass and the enthusiastic dunk still made the highlight reel.
This play is essentially the same as the last one. Harden gets the rebound and fires a bullet pass to Parsons on the break for the easy dunk.
This play occurred on Christmas as the Rockets put a beating on the Bulls in Chicago, 120-97. I guess Houston fans were good this year, because Harden and Parsons put a big win and a highlight play in their stockings.
It isn't surprising that James Harden is dominating this list, and we are only half way done.
Harden's dunk on Utah is just nasty. This dunk was an exclamation point of the Rockets tremendous humiliation of Utah on its home floor. That night, the Rockets crushed the Jazz by 45 points, 125-80, giving Utah its worst home loss in franchise history.
The Jazz just could not keep up with Harden and the explosive Rockets.
The game may have been a blowout, but it was an important win for the Rockets. Houston and Utah were both competing for a final playoff spot in the crowded West. Houston ended up with the eighth seed, and Utah finished right behind them in ninth, missing out on the playoffs.
Harden has a knack for embarrassing Utah players.
This time, Harden gets the steal and is all by himself for the fast break. Gordon Hayward tries to be sneaky and hustles back all the way to get himself on a poster.
This dunk is a facial in the true sense of the word. Poor Hayward never stood a chance. The Rockets won this game 124-116.
This play is so smooth that even the Philadelphia fans couldn't help but ooh and ahh at the amazing skills of James Harden. Harden goes behind the back and between the legs as he slices his way to the hoop for the easy two points.
Harden fakes Jrue Holiday out of his shoes and then goes up and over a turned-around Evan Turner. He makes half of the Sixers' team look like tackling dummies, and even draws the technical foul from Spencer Hawes after the play as the icing on the cake.
The Rockets lost this game as a part of a horrid seven-game losing streak. This play did not have a big impact on the game, but it sure is pretty.
The Rockets lost this game badly in Denver, 132-114, but that shouldn't detract too much from this monster jam.
James Anderson did not get much playing time for Houston last year, but he is a terrific athlete. He takes the feed from Patrick Beverley and goes right over Evan Fournier for the and-1 slam.
You can tell how emphatic the dunk truly was by the reactions from both the broadcasters and the Rockets' bench.
Anderson won't be back with the Rockets next season, but Houston fans will remember his big dunk for years. Also, give some credit to Terrence Jones for the huge block on Corey Brewer, which led to the fast break.
Remember that Patrick Beverley block on Danny Green? Here's why it was so important.
Harden finally lifted the Rockets over the San Antonio Spurs, giving them their first win against the division rival. The fans in Houston love nothing more than beating the Spurs, and Harden answered their prayers in dramatic fashion.
This win was near the end of the year, and it proved that the Rockets could play with anybody come playoff time. Everyone loves a game-winning shot, and it's that much sweeter when it happens against your in-state rivals.
In the season finale, the Rockets were matched up with the Lakers in a game with major playoff implications. The winner got the seventh seed to face the Spurs in the playoffs, and the loser had to face OKC as the eighth and final seed in the playoffs.
I'm guessing this is not the play that Coach Kevin McHale drew up for the Rockets. This crazy play of jumbled chaos results in a line-drive three-pointer to send the game to overtime.
The Rockets lost in OT, but at the time of the shot, Parsons saved the Rockets from playing the West's best team. Parsons came up with the big shot in the big moment for the Rockets.
No matter what the situation is, when Carlos Delfino dunks in Kevin Durant's face, it's a big deal. It just so happens that Delfino converted the and-1 in an elimination game of a heated playoff series versus the Thunder.
The Rockets were down 0-3 in the series to OKC and desperately needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. Delfino got the steal and threw down the slam to keep the Rockets ahead late in the third quarter.
The Rockets won Game 4 and survived another day. Delfino's dunk was one of the defining moments of the Rockets' playoff journey this past year.
Delfino signed a contract with the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason, and he will definitely be missed in Houston this upcoming season.