The Houston Rockets finished with seven players in double figures, including all five starters, and Camelo Anthony, who had been cold most of the game, scored 8 straight points in the fourth quarter to break open a close game and down the Spurs 108-93.
We didn’t get to see much of the first half, as the game wasn’t being shown live on TV in Houston, nor on NBA League Pass, and the stream on Rockets.com was conspicuously absent, being as though that’s where we were all turning to watch today’s game.
But it was apparent that head coach Mike D’Antoni was using this as a sort of dress-rehearsal for the regular season. Only eight men ran in the rotation for the vast majority of the game, with James Ennis starting at the three alongside the typical starter group of James Harden, Chris Paul, P.J. Tucker, and Clint Capela, while Eric Gordon, Melo, and Gerald Green saw time off the bench.
That group pushed the Rockets to a 46-41 halftime lead, and though they grew it to double-digits at one point in the third quarter, by the the start of the fourth, it was just a two-point game. The teams were pretty neck-and-neck throughout the final frame until Anthony caught fire to turn a two-point Houston lead into a 10-point one.
Melo hit a turnaround off a post-up, a jumper from the top of the paint, and drained an open three to show his versatility in this offense. Overall, he finished with 12 points, but 10 of those came in the fourth to close out the Houston win. It sure is going to be nice to have another scorer to go to in order to close out games.
The Rockets pulled all their starters with around three minutes left and a double-digit lead, though Gary Clark was already seeing some time with the main group down the stretch, and we saw Bruno Caboclo, Rob Gray, and Vincent Edwards join him to finish out the fourth for the big win.
The Rockets were led in scoring by P.J. Tucker, who finished with 19 points and 7 boards, and they also got 18 points and 9 assists from The Beard, 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 9 assists from CP3, 13 from Gerald Green, 12 points and 6 boards for Melo, and 10 apiece from James Ennis and Clint Capela.
The Spurs were led by DeMar DeRozan with 22, Rudy Gay with 13, Marco Belinelli with 11, and LaMarcus Aldridge with 10. Dejounte Murray was hurt for San Antonio in this game. It looked bad at first, but he left the court under his own power, which didn’t initially seem to be the case.
Houston now moves to 2-1 on the preseason and play again on Tuesday at home against the Shanghai Sharks.
Apologies for the bare bones recap. I shared almost everyone else’s experience in that it was fuzzy and ad-blocked streams in the first half, and disjointed audio and in-and-out picture in the second half.