HOUSTON — The Houston Rockets dropped their 10th consecutive game in a 104-92 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers, Friday night, inside the Toyota Center in Houston. With the loss the Rockets are currently 1-11 to begin the 2021-22 season, which marks their worst start in franchise history through the first 12 games.
Behind the hustle of Daniel Theis and the aggressiveness of Kevin Porter Jr., the Rockets had arguably their best start of the season. Houston opened the game leading 25-17 midway through the first quarter, but the Trail Blazers closed the period on a 13-2 run to take a 30-27 lead into the second quarter.
The Trail Blazers began to further their separation midway through the second quarter when Damian Lillard connected on a deep triple to put Portland ahead by 10. The Trail Blazers extended their lead to 14 in the quarter, as they held a 55-45 lead over the Rockets heading into halftime.
Porter appeared to be the only player trying to match the Trail Blazers’ intensity by scoring 11 of his 18 points in the first half.
Despite 11 first half points from Lillard, C.J. McCollum set the tone for Portland following a slow start to the game. The 30-year-old shooting guard scored a dozen of his 17 points during the first 24 minutes on the night. Lillard finished with a team-best 20 points.
The Rockets frustration started to boil over early when Porter, Jae’Sean Tate and coach Stephen Silas were all assessed a technical foul during the first half. Every technical the Rockets received during the game was to protest a non-call that should have been penalties against the Trail Blazers.
During the third quarter, there were several times the Trail Blazers hacked Christian Wood on his way to the basket but the officials failed to call a foul. Wood ended the night with eight points — marking the fourth time in five games he finished a game with less than 20 points.
But despite the lack of calls, the Rockets tried their best to stay within striking distance. After Tate scored six points to open the third quarter, the Rockets once cut the Trail Blazers’ double-digit lead down to five. But the Blazers led 81-67 entering the fourth.
Two days after scoring 23 points in a loss against the Detroit Pistons, Jalen Green had his most inferior performance of his young NBA career, as he scored nine points in 30 mintues of action.
After missing the previous game with an illness, Alperen Sengun scored 12 points in his return.
Following the loss, the Rockets will close out their three-game homestand on Sunday against the 8-3 Phoenix Suns. The Rockets dropped their first meeting of the season against the Suns on Nov. 4 in a 123-111 defeat inside the Footprint Center. Tip-off is sechdule for 6 P.M. CT.