The Houston Rockets had 13 players listed on the injury report ahead of Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks. Eight players were listed as out. Five were listed as questionable or probable. Among the wounded Rockets available was Kelly Olynyk, who was questionable due to right ankle soreness.
The minor injury did not prevent Olynyk from producing for the depleted Rockets, as the Canadian native notched a double-double of 23 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. Olynyk’s heroic efforts ended in the Rockets falling in a 141-133 loss to the Bucks.
With the loss, the Rockets dropped their fourth consecutive game, as their record fell to 16-51 on the season. The Bucks improved their record to 43-24 while avoiding a regular-season sweep (1-1) to the Rockets.
Kenyon Martin Jr. led Houston in scoring with a career-best 26 points (10-21 FG, 6-10 3PT), seven rebounds and seven assists. D.J. Augustin poured in 17 points (6-14 FG, 4-9 3PT) and five assists in 29 minutes.
“I told the guys after the game how proud I was for the way they played. I was super proud of the group all the way down the line. I couldn’t be more proud even though we lost the game — which is disappointing.” — Stephen Silas
A career-high 26pts and 7ast for @kj__martin! pic.twitter.com/0O49wj1hPv— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) May 8, 2021
Houston had more players on the injury report than active. Eight players took to the floor inside Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, including newcomer Khyri Thomas. The two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year winner (2017 & 2018) had an impressive debut for the Rockets. He scored 16 points (6-7 FG, 2-3 3PT) off the bench to go along with three steals.
Thomas signed with the Rockets on the emergency hardship provision due to the number of injured players. Thomas’ appearance against the Bucks made him the 28th player to represent the Rockets this season.
“They have to feel somewhat confident coming out of this stretch, especially K.J.. Khyri [Thomas] came in tonight and wasn’t afraid. He took the shots that were there and moved the ball around when he did not have it. It’s a credit to John Lucas and all of the work he does with the guys — as well as Armoni Brooks. They work hard when no one is watching.” — Silas
Head coach Stephen Silas pointed to the team’s ball movement and 3-point shooting for keeping the game close against the Bucks. Silas said this game is definitely something they can build on, as the Rockets shot 47.2 percent from deep and dished 36 assists as a team.
Milwaukee had seven players who scored in double-figures. Brook Lopez scored a team-high 24 points while connecting on seven out of his eight shot attempts from the field. After scoring 15 points in the first half, Giannis Antetokounmpo ended the night with 17 points and 11 boards.
After missing one game due to an ankle injury, Khris Middleton scored 23 points in his return for the Bucks.
Following the loss, the Rockets will try to end their four-game losing streak on Friday against the Utah Jazz. Tip-off is slated for 9:00 P.M. CT inside the Vivint Arena.