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HOUSTON - The Rockets had a short practice Tuesday afternoon, Knowing full well that they re starting to peak at the right time.

I feel like we can still play a lot better and there is still a lot of room to improve, Rockets forward Chandler Parsons said. Still, we re definitely clicking right now.

At 35-17, Kevin McHale s bunch is sitting at 5th in the Western Conference, but just two games back of San Antonio in the division. They have won 6 straight and host the Washington Wizards on Wednesday at Toyota Center in the final game of the first half of the regular season.

But, what s been the key to them finding their rhythm? Well...two things...Offensive rhythm and improved health.

Those two elements go hand in hand according to Dwight Howard, who has 34 double doubles on the season, the most for a Rocket before the All-Star break since a guy nicknamed The Dream had 38 back in 1993-94.

During some of the game we ve lost earlier this season, we were too uptight, Howard said. We re serious about what we do, but we re a team that has to go out there and just play.

Health is a huge factor,not just for depth, but the competition for minutes amongst the players now as opposed to earlier in the season has been a big key to success.

Guys are thirsty out there on the court, Rockets guard James Harden says. They want to play hard, they want to do the right thing and that s going to make us good.

Even center Omer Asik is getting back in game shape as his dunk during the team s victory against Minnesota on Monday made everyone laugh.

It took him a while to get there because we ve been working on his hops in practice, Howard said. He went from a phone book to a Gatorade bottle so that s progress.

Everything really does seem better...when you re winning.

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