Another night of an abysmal shooting performance. And another night of an atrocious outing on the defensive end resulted in the Houston Rockets recording their 10th consecutive loss on Friday. The Rockets fell to the Toronto Raptors 122-111 inside the Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla. With the loss, the Rockets also recorded their seventh road loss in a row.
There was a small glimmer of hope that Houston’s losing skid would come to a halt during the first quarter.
Eric Gordon got off to a hot start scoring eight points off the bench (2-3 FG, 1-2 3PT) to lead the Rockets to a 31-30 lead by the end of the first period. The Rockets opened the game shooting 50 percent from behind the arc while nailing five of their first 10 triples. Unfortunately, Houston’s shooting in the first quarter did not carry over to the rest of the game, as the Rockets shot 29 percent from behind the arc. Gordon finished the night with 17 points (5-12 FG, 3-8 3PT).
“My job is to keep pushing this team. My job is to lead and not get too down...We will turn it around.” — Stephen Silas
In his second game back after missing four straight due to injury, Victor Oladipo led Houston on the night with 27 points. John Wall posted a double-double of 21 points and 12 assists in the loss.
Victor Oladipo finished the night with 27 points.— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) February 27, 2021
Highlights ⤵️ pic.twitter.com/welByYxRhb
The game began to drift away from the Rockets in the second quarter. The Raptors scored 37 points in the period to take a 67-59 lead into the halftime break. Toronto would go on to extend their halftime lead to 23 points midway through the third.
The Rockets’ have developed an issue defending perimeter shots. During their 10 game losing skid, Houston’s opponents have shot 41 percent from deep. Against the Raptors, Houston allowed Toronto to shoot 39 percent from downtown en route to their 20th loss of the season.
The Rockets clawed their way back and nearly pulled off a comeback victory. Houston cut the Raptors’ lead down to six with 2:59 left in the game. The Rockets were in striking distance, but allowed Raptors guard Kyle Lowry to secure an offensive rebound that ended in a 3-point field goal for Fred VanVleet — putting an end to Houston’s comeback hopes.
“We have a bunch of competitors on this team, but we are struggling right now. We have to take that competitive nature and breakthrough. We gotta push through before the All-Star break.” — Silas
The Raptors ended a two-game skid of their own behind Norman Powell. He scored a game-high 30 while VanVleet added 25 points. Lowry ended the night with a triple-double of 20 points, 10 assists and a game-high of 11 boards.
Due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols, the Raptors were without head coach Nick Nurse and five other members of their coaching staff. The Raptors were also without their All-Star forward Pascal Siakam for the same reason.
Up next, the Rockets will try to avoid their 11th straight loss on Sunday against the Memphis Grizzlies. Tip-off is slated for 7:00 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.