Houston scored the fewest amount of points in the D’Antoni era last night, only managing 89 points in a 103-89 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The team’s previous low for points under Mike D’Antoni was 90, which was achieved Monday night in the team’s loss to the Grizzlies. So far, Memphis is the only team to beat Houston this season.
The team received good news as Trevor Ariza and Nene both returned in this game from their respective injuries. Ariza’s return was even more surprising, as the team expected him to be out for multiple weeks, but it was just a small two-game absence for Ariza.
However, the team played tonight without Eric Gordon, who played phenomenally in the first two games of the road trip. Gordon was out with flulike symptoms and is listed as day-to-day. His status for Monday’s game is questionable.
The team had a lead for majority of the first half, but the second half was all Grizzlies as the Rockets were held to just 40 points in the final two quarters. The Rockets, overall, shot 37.7 percent from the floor, and it’s hard to win games shooting that percentage.
The big difference in this game came from bench production. Memphis had three scorers off the bench in double figures, including former Rocket Chandler Parsons, who shot six of eight from three, scoring a game-high 24 points in just 18 minutes. Mario Chalmers scored 15 off the bench and Tyreke Evans added 14. None of Memphis’s starters scored more than nine points. Memphis outscored Houston 67-25 in bench points, and that’s ultimately what did them in.
If the team were completely healthy, the bench would include Eric Gordon, Luc Mbah a Moute, P.J. Tucker, and Nene, but with Chris Paul and Gordon out, it forced the whole rotation to adjust.
Houston ends the road trip winning two of three and have yet to lose to a team that is not the Memphis Grizzlies. The team has two more contests in the season series in the next three weeks, so it will be important to capitalize early against their division rival. A loss like this is not ideal but it does show how much this team needs to get healthy. Hopefully the injuries won’t last and the team will see the court soon so they can learn how to play together.