The Houston Rockets aren't exactly free-falling, but with their 124-115 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, the team finds itself riding a three-game losing streak for just the second time this season and has lost four of five overall.
"We've got to stay positive, man," Russell Westbrook said postgame, according to ESPN's Tim MacMahon. "Like I said the other day, in adversity, whatcha gonna do? Gotta look at yourself, stay locked in. It's a part of the season, man. It happens, but now, as a unit, as a team, we've got to stick together and figure out the best way to put our best foot forward."
In addition to Saturday's defeat to the West-leading Lakers, the Rockets' stretch of futility includes losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder, Memphis Grizzlies, and Portland Trail Blazers - three teams that entered Sunday with worse records than Houston.
The skid has dropped the Rockets to 26-15 (.634) and the sixth seed. Still, the team's record isn't too far off the pace of last year's 53-29 (.646) campaign, when Houston advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the second straight season. The Rockets sit just three games behind the No. 2-seeded Denver Nuggets.
"We're going through a tough time, obviously," said James Harden. "It happens to I think every team throughout the course of the year, but tough times don't last long, especially for people and teams that are built for it.
"We've just got to continue to fight through it, continue to get better, keep grinding through moments like these."
The Rockets' fight continues Monday with a home game versus the Thunder, with the Nuggets coming to town Wednesday.