HOUSTON — At the 2:40 mark of the second quarter, Jae’Sean Tate attempted his best Hakeem Olajuwon impression. Tate went one-on-one with Joel Embiid down on the baseline and completed his best Dream Shake impression as he scored on the All-Star center.
Tate’s basket was the highlight of the night for the Houston Rockets. But if there was anyone who gave their best Olajuwon imitation — it was Embiid.
Similar to the way Olajuwon dominated the paint for 17 years in Houston, Embiid was an unstoppable force inside the Toyota Center with 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists on the night. Behind another MVP caliber performance from Embiid, the Rockets sustained a 111-91 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.
With the loss, the Rockets have now dropped eight consecutive home games while falling to 11-31 on the season. As the 76ers improved to 23-16 following the win, Philadelphia has swept their two-game regular-season series against the Rockets.
Embiid’s prominent performance took place one week after he scored 31 points in the 76ers’ home victory over the Rockets inside the Wells Fargo Center.
With Christian Wood available this time around, Stephen Silas tried to add more size to his frontcourt in hopes of containing Embiid. Silas started Daniel Theis next to Wood, with Eric Gordon out due to right groin tightness.
Wood could not match Embiid’s scoring output, but he did manage to lead the Rockets in scoring with a team-best 14 points in the loss. Theis tried his best to assists Wood in the battle of the big men by scoring a dozen in 21 minutes of play.
The most effective production the Rockets received on the night came from rookie Josh Christopher. After scoring a career-high 19 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday, Christopher led all reserves with 13 points in a loss to the 76ers. Jalen Green (14) was the only other Rocket who scored in double figures during the loss.
It was a rough night for Kevin Porter Jr., as he shot 2-for-9 from the field for eight points. Porter’s night ended earlier than expected after he recorded a flagrant two foul for running over 76ers’ guard Charlie Brown Jr. early during the fourth quarter.
In addition to Embiid, Tobias Harris and Andre Drummond each scored 13 points apiece, while Furkan Korkmaz added 12 points in the win.
After the loss, the Rockets will try to end a three-game losing skid on Wednesday against the 15-25 San Antonio Spurs. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT inside the AT&T Center.