It wasn’t a very good night for the Houston Rockets. The Toronto Raptors came out with more energy, they were move active, and they played better defense, leading Houston wire-to-wire as the Rockets fell 107-92.
The Raptors jumped out to a 9-0 start and never looked back, as the Rockets never found their rhythm or their footing in this game. Houston turned it over 28 times, leading to 32 points for the Raptors, and they were decimated in the open court, with Toronto outscoring Houston 32-11 on the fast break.
The Rockets were led in scoring by Armoni Brooks, who came off the bench to hit 5-10 from downtown for 15 points. Houston shot just 9-30 overall from deep, and Houston head coach Stephen Silas should probably give Brooks — their best long-distance sniper — more opportunities as the team continues to struggle with it’s three-point shooting.
The Rockets also got 13 points and 7 boards from Christian Wood, who looked a little more comfortable tonight but still needs to play better, and they also 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists from Kevin Porter Jr., who had his second straight ho-hum game after a hot start to the preseason.
Houston rookie Jalen Green had a forgettable night, scoring just 5 points on 2-6 shooting to go along with 4 rebounds and 4 assists. He turned the ball over 7 times in a difficult game.
The other Houston double-digit scorers were Alperen Sengun, who went for 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals, and Jae’Sean Tate, who finished with 10 points and 4 boards. The Rockets seem to play better with Sengun on the court, though he put in just 17 minutes in this one. I’d like to start seeing him get more minutes as well.
As for the Raptors, they looked in regular season form, with OG Anunoby and Precious Achiuwa leading the way with 17 apiece. They both had it going tonight. Malachi Flynn had 15, including 3-5 from deep that also featured a buzzer-beating triple at the end of the third quarter that put the Raps up 88-64.
Scottie Barnes also looked good, going for 10 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and a block.
It’s back to the drawing board for the Rockets, who were missing some key players in Eric Gordon and Danuel House, but they’re going to need Jalen Green to shake off his creaky start and Christian Wood and Kevin Porter Jr. to step up if they’re going to win games in the regular season.
This was a tough match, on the road, against a good team, but I was hoping for a little bit better showing.