When the Rockets defeated the Spurs to begin a successful five-game road trip on Jan. 12, San Antonio had several players missing due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols. Nearly two weeks to the day the Rockets opened their four-game regular-season series with a win in San Antonio, the Spurs, now completely healthy, got their revenge as Houston sustained a 134-104 loss Tuesday night.
By dropping their second consecutive game, the Rockets fell to 14-34 on the season amid opening their four-game homestand on an erroneous note.
When comparing the Rockets’ performance against their I-10 rival earlier in the month, Kevin Porter Jr. was the only player who came close to replicating the production that led to Houston’s 128-124 victory in The Alamo.
Porter led the way with a near double-double of 16 points and nine dimes, which marked the fifth consecutive game the third-year prodigy from USC dished seven or more assists.
The only other players who put on a solid offensive production outside of Porter were Christian Wood and Jae’Sean Tate. Wood ended the game with 15 points in the loss while Tate added 14.
The lack of offense played a significant role in the Rockets’ embarrassing home loss to the Spurs, but Houston’s play on the defensive side of the ball was the immediate reason. Wood once said the defensive goal for the Rockets is to hold their opponents under 30 points each quarter, and Houston failed drastically. The Spurs eclipsed over 30 points in three of the first four quarters.
The Spurs had their way against the Rockets by shooting 57.4 percent from the field, which was a bit of a surprise given their subpar night shooting from beyond the arc. The Rockets allowed the Spurs to record 82 points in the paint, as Houston’s ability to protect the rim was appalling.
The Spurs had five players who scored in double figures against the Rockets. Dejounte Murray, who recorded a similar stat line to his childhood friend in Porter, ended the night with 19 points and 10 assists in the win. Jakob Poeltl scored 18 points for the Spurs, while Keldon Johnson added 16.
After the loss, the Rockets will attempt to bounce-back on Friday during a western conference showdown against the 20-26 Portland Trail Blazers. Tip-off is slated for 7 P.M. CT inside the Toyota Center.