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Rockets fall to Hawks to open Summer League play despite Dekker's 18

Poor shooting dooms Houston in the Vegas opener, but there were some positives.

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets Summer League team led for the entire first half and portions of the second before faltering down the stretch to the Atlanta Hawks in an 83 - 78 loss. The Rockets went up by 3 points, 74 - 71, with just four minutes to go, but would score only 4 points the rest of the way in defeat.

There were some highlights.

Sam Dekker led the way with 18 points, and though he could have been better on defense, he was 6-9 from the field and clearly the Rockets' best offensive player. His +8 led the team in overall plus-minus.

Houston also got 15 from K.J. McDaniels, and though he was his usual athletic self, he also was his usual poor shooting self, knocking down just 3 of his 14 shot attempts. And Kyle Wiltjer showed the shooting the Rockets were looking for, knocking down three triples on his way to 13 points.

In addition, Gary Payton had a team-leading 5 assists. He certainly has some work to do, but mostly looked like a competent point man.

The negatives were Micheal Beasley's 3-15 shooting from the field. Beas was off all night. Montrezl Harrell picked up 6 fouls in just 23 minutes of action, not a good look for a guy hoping to make an impact on the varsity squad this year, and Chinanu Onuaku looked every bit the rookie, putting up just 3 points and 3 rebounds in 18 minutes and finishing as a -7. His underhanded free throws were also a sight to behold.

Isaiah Taylor also failed to make an impact, as he finished with 0 points, 2 assists and a team-worst -10 in 20 minutes of action.

Overall, the Rockets shot just 35.1 percent as a team and were out-rebounded by the Hawks 46-34, both of which will need to change for the team to turn it around.

The Rockets play again on Sunday, matching up with the Sacramento Kings at 4:30pm CST.