Houston Rockets coach Stephen Silas was like a new man after his team finally ended a 20-match losing streak in the NBA.
Silas was left distraught after Sunday’s narrow 114-112 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but felt a huge weight lifted off his shoulders following a long-awaited victory over the Toronto Raptors the next day.
Houston were in the midst of a franchise-record drought – the Rockets’ skid tied for the ninth-worst in NBA history and the longest since the Philadelphia 76ers’ 28-game losing streak across the 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns.
But the Rockets recorded an overdue victory on Monday, celebrating their first win since February 4 behind John Wall’s 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in a 117-99 triumph over the Toronto Raptors.
“It’s like indescribable for a win in March of this crazy season,” Silas said.
“I’m just so proud of the guys. When you’re like going through it and fighting so hard and you just see the disappointment in the players’ faces after loss after loss after loss.
“Then to go into the locker room after today’s game and everybody’s just happy and joyous, I mean, it’s super cool and great.
“I was down and out yesterday. It seems like a week ago now. We regroup, we come together, and it feels a lot better just because I know it feels great for the players.
“Like, whatever for me, but I’m just so happy for those guys that they don’t have to hear about it and deal with it.”
The game saw Wall’s first triple-double since March 2016 as the Raptors crashed to a ninth consecutive defeat – now the league’s longest active losing run. And Wall conceded it had been a tough spell to endure, one he was glad to see come to an end.”Losing 20 straight, we haven’t been healthy, but that’s not an excuse because everybody’s been going through health and safety protocols and injuries,” he said.
“We just went out there and competed, no matter what and what was going on.”