Victor Oladipo’s Houston Rockets debut was spoiled in a 125-120 loss to the Bulls in Chicago on Monday night.
The Rockets got off to an extremely poor start to the game.
Houston shot an abysmal 2-of-11 from deep in the first quarter. They also gave up the ball nine different times, with Christian Wood contributing to three of them, getting called for two offensive fouls and a travel. Oladipo looked out of sorts to begin, going only one-of-four from the field with three turnovers.
The Rockets were also stuck on 13 points from 3:31 in the first until the last 17 seconds of the quarter, when they finally got a free-throw to drop and a David Nwaba steal (fourth of the quarter) led to an easy layup for him on the other side with 1.6 seconds left. They did all that work just for Chicago’s Ryan Arcidiacono to hit a deep three at the buzzer and give the Bulls a 28-16 lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter went much better for Houston, but they put themselves into a hole several times, having to overcome two 17-point leads and a 14-point lead to end the half. Oladipo bounced backed strong and dropped 13 points on 5-7 shooting, including two three-pointers in quarter. Wood also followed up his weak first quarter with 10 points in the second. Rockets went into halftime down 64-52.
All four of Wood’s made field goals in the quarter came off of great assists from Dipo, including this monster jam.
Throw it down big fella! pic.twitter.com/0CW8YdDgcF— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 19, 2021
Houston put up their best quarter of the game, so far, in the third, getting the Bulls’ lead down to as much as three. No matter how hard they worked, though, it was obvious the team was working back from overcoming a large deficit. Late in the quarter, the Bulls threatened to go up big again after getting the lead up to 10, but two threes from Mason Jones Jr. and another three from Jae’Sean Tate in the final two minutes of the game would keep the game within seven, down 93-86 to start the fourth.
Also, Wood threw down another absolute MONSTER of a jam.
I can’t stop watching this. pic.twitter.com/AOUpyU8Rz4— Mason Jones Fan Account (@DreamShakeSBN) January 19, 2021
The Rockets battled well into the fourth quarter, even getting the lead down to 116-113 with only 1:03 left in the game, but it wouldn’t be enough to get them the win. The Bulls absolutely scorched Houston from deep, knocking down 20 of their 45 long-ball attempts — tack on the poor start to begin the game and it would prove too much for Houston to overcome.
Oladipo had an immaculate debut, dropping 32 points, nine assists, five rebounds, and two steals on 13-23 shooting. Wood had 30 points and nine rebounds on 11-16 from the field, 3-7 from deep. Eric Gordon scored 21 of his own to go along with four assists on 9-17 shooting, 3-7 from deep. Tate and Jones dropped in 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Rockets will finally return home on Wednesday after a three-game road trip, but it doesn’t get any easier for Houston as they have to face the 7-5 Phoenix Suns. Houston is now 4-8 on the season.