For the first time since Feb. 1, the Houston Rockets trotted out a starting lineup that featured John Wall, Victor Oladipo and Christian Wood. AKA the WOW Factor.
Unfortunately, the trio combined to score 58 points, as the Rockets fell 113-100 to the Detroit Pistons, Friday night, inside the Toyota Center in Houston. With the loss, the Rockets extended their franchise losing streak to 19.
In his first game back since March 3, John Wall led the Rockets in scoring with 21 points (7-16 FG, 2-5 3PT) and seven assists.
This game had a similar feel to that of their previous three contests. A game that began with a small amount of hope for a victory ended in another loss for the Rockets.
Behind Christian Wood’s 13 points, the Rockets jumped out to a 28-27 lead after the first quarter. Wood wasn’t the only Rocket who got off to a hot start. Houston shot 56.5 percent from the floor to open the game, with 20 points coming in the paint. Wood ended the night with 18 points and 11 rebounds.
However, the first 12 minutes proved to be the only time the Rockets consistently bought a basket. Their hot shooting started to decline beginning in the second quarter, as the Rockets closed the game shooting 39 percent from the field, 32 percent from deep.
Big fella with a start! @Toyota l pic.twitter.com/gboWmxluAQ— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) March 20, 2021
But Houston’s shooting struggles were half the reason why the Rockets ended the night on the wrong side of a 13-point loss.
Houston had a dreadful night on the defensive side of the ball. The Rockets allowed the Pistons to end the game with five players who scored in double figures — led by Frank Jackson and Saddiq Bey, who had 20 points apiece.
Oladipo had one of his worst performances of the season after scoring 34 points in his last outing. He only connected on two out of his nine shots from behind the arc, ending the game with 19 points. Oladipo’s second 3-point basket came during the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.
In the midst of getting back their three best players, the Rockets lost their rising star in the process. Kevin Porter Jr. — averaging 19.6 points and 8.0 assists through his first five games with the Rockets — left the game during the first half with right quad soreness. There were no additional updates on Porter’s injury during Stephen Silas’ post-game press conference.
In addition to Jackson and Bey, the Pistons received a tremendous boost from their bench. Josh Jackson scored 15 points off the bench, as the Pistons’ second unit outscored the Rockets 40-20.
Still winless since Feb. 4, the Rockets will try to end their losing streak Sunday against the 17-24 Oklahoma City Thunder. Tip-off is slated for 1:00 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.