Dwight Howard, Patrick Beverley benched to finish bickering

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The Rockets had an ugly start to the second half against the Pelicans yesterday.

So ugly, Houston coach J.B. Bickerstaff benched Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley just 2:08 into the third quarter.

The Rockets allowed New Orleans to make 3-pointers on each of its first four possessions of the half. Howard also committed an offensive three-second violation when Beverley passed up a shot (see above).

So, Bickerstaff called timeout and sat both starters.

Bickerstaff, via Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle:

“They were having a conversation,” Bickerstaff said. “That’s all. Let them finish their conversation. A basketball conversation.”

Beverley, via Feigen:

“I’m emotional; he’s emotional,” Beverley said. “Our focus is to win games. I feel like, and he feels the same, there shouldn’t be anyone who can score on us in pick-and-roll. Right now, it’s crunch time. We talked about it. We came out there and won the game.”

Howard, via Feigen:

“It’s basketball,” Howard said. “We’re OK. We said what we had to say. It’s over with.

“We got the win. It shouldn’t be a big deal now. We went out there, dapped each other up. It’s basketball. You’re going to have situations on the floor.”

Both players returned a few minutes later and helped Houston win. That will surely help everyone feel better and get past this.

But this is yet another example of the chemistry issues the Rockets are facing.

Players argue with each other. They usually don’t argue so much during a game that their coach feels the need to remove them from the floor just so they can continue the “conversation.”

Typically, Houston is better when Howard and Beverley play. The fact that their beef made that not the case for a few minutes is less than ideal.