It was a physical contest tonight for the Houston Rockets against the Milwaukee Bucks, and and Houston isn’t quite yet equipped for those types of battles. They didn’t fold — they kept playing hard — but they were simply no match for Milwaukee in a 126-106 defeat.
Milwaukee used a big second quarter to take a commanding lead, and they then pushed it up to 19 points in the third quarter, before a mini Rockets rally behind Christian Wood and Garrison Mathews closed the deficit to 72-61 with 6:30 left in quarter. The Rocket would get no closer, however, as Milwaukee got hot from three in the second half and Houston couldn’t keep up. The Bucks finished 17-46 from deep on the night compared to 13-45 from the Rockets.
Houston was led by Wood, who finished with 20 points and 11 boards on the night. He reached the 20-point mark for the ninth time in his last 11 games. The Rockets also got also 12 apiece from Eric Gordon and K.J. Martin. Martin also had 5 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 blocks. Alperen Sengun had 10 points, 8 boards, and 4 assists, while Mathews had 10 points and 6 rebounds.
As for the Bucks, they were led by Jrue Holiday, who finished with 24 points and 10 assists, while Khris Middleton had 23 points and 6 assists. Jordan Nwora had 18 points and 9 boards, former Rocket Demarcus Cousins had 18 points and 8 rebounds, and old an friend, Rocket killer Wesley Matthews went 4-5 from deep for 16 points in what was like a bad acid flashback for Rockets fans.
Houston now falls to 10-22 on the year, and a murderous road trip continues tomorrow night in Indiana against the Pacers. The good news is it’s the long-awaited return of Jalen Green. I’ll be anxious to see how he fits back in.