HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets won their preseason opener in a 125-119 victory over the Washington Wizards, Tuesday night, inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
Third-year guard Kevin Porter Jr. led the way for the Rockets with 25-points, shooting 56.2 percent from the field, 55.5 percent from behind the arc. But it was the play from the Rockets’ third-string unit that resulted in a victory over the Wizards.
Behind rookie Josh Christopher, who scored 11 points in the final seven minutes, the Rockets were down 103-95 midway through the fourth quarter. They outscored Washington 30-16 to close out the game, as rookie Usman Garuba’s lone bucket of the night came on a late triple to help the Rockets take a eight-point victory.
Amid his unofficial debut, Jaylen Green led all rookies in scoring with 12 points on the night. Alperen Sengun came close to a double-double during the win after recording five points and eight rebounds in 13 minutes of action.
Second-year coach Stephen Silas played 15 out of 19 players on the roster — sorting through potential rotations ahead of the upcoming season. While unveiling his new backcourt of Green and Porter, Silas starting five consisted of Christian Wood, Daniel Theis and Eric Gordon.
Danuel House Jr., who scored four points in 17 minutes off the bench, took the helm as the Rockets’ sixth-man.
The Wizards were led by All-Star guard Bradley Beal. He connected on 50 percent of his shots from the floor to lead the Wizards in scoring with 18 points in 21 minutes. Newly acquired guard Aaron Holiday added 17 points (5-10 FG, 2-3 3PT) off the bench while playing 19 minutes.
In addition to his scoring, Porter put on an all-around performance by dishing five assists and recording four rebounds in the win. If this was a regular-season game, Porter could have surpassed the 50-and-10 performance that put him on the NBA radar last season against the Milwaukee Bucks.
After a hard-fought victory over the Wizards, the Rockets will return to their home court on Thursday for their second preseason game against the Miami Heat. Tip-off is slated for 9 P.M. CT.