The first quarter of this game went very different from Houston’s previous matchup with OKC. After the first period on Monday, the Rockets led by 24. On Wednesday, they were down five after 12 minutes of play.
Christian Wood (two made three-pointers) and Eric Gordon did the heavy lifting early on, scoring six points a piece. Victor Oladipo got rolling late in the quarter, adding eight of his own, and DeMarcus Cousins came off the bench to score five, including a three and a great finish at the rim.
The Rockets went into the second quarter down 30-25.
Houston was so bad in the second quarter that it was nothing short of a miracle for them to be down only 11 going into halftime.
The Rockets scored only 18 points in the second, while the Thunder put in 24 points of their own. At one point Houston was down 19 — all to a Shai Gilgeous-Alexander-less Thunder team.
Gordon scored half of his team’s production in the period, scoring nine points for the quarter and 15 in the half. Wood didn’t get a chance to be as productive as he wanted to be, getting three quick fouls early.
The Rockets struggled to hold on to the ball, losing their possession a total of 12 times in the half. They also absolutely went cold from deep, going 6-of-25 from the three-point line. No one not named Wood, Gordon, or Cousins made a three for Houston in the first 24 minutes.
Houston went into the half down 54-43.
As expected, the bottom completely fell out for the Rockets in the third quarter. On Monday, they scored 102 points through 36 minutes. On Wednesday, they could muster up only 58. The Rockets followed up their 18-point second quarter with a 15-point third and went down by as much by 23.
What more can be said when you go down by as much as 30 to household names like Darius Bazley (18 points, 6-13 shooting), Hamidou Diallo (16 points, 5-9 shooting), and Kenrich Williams (19 points, 7-8 shooting)?
Here’s all the things that Houston did poorly, because what’s the sense in trying to make it fancy, right? 33-86 shooting from the field for 38.4% shooting. 12-46 from deep for 26.1%. 20 turnovers. 18 fouls. 5 fast break points.
Gordon led all scorers in the game with 22 points, four assists, and three rebounds on 8-15 shooting. Oladipo scored 19 points on 8-24 shooting. Wood had his worst outing as a Rocket, so far, failing to reach double-digit scoring for the first time this season with eight points and six rebounds.
Even though this was a tough loss, finally losing a game after six straight wins isn’t the worst thing in the world.
The Rockets will having an opportunity to start a new streak tomorrow night when they face the Grizzlies in Memphis on Thursday.