The Houston Rockets were looking for their second straight win against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, but they couldn’t get it done, falling 109-101 despite the return of Jae’Sean Tate to the lineup.
Tate replaced KJ Martin in the starting lineup, but he played just 20 minutes in his return, going for 7 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist, and he was 3-for-5 from the field.
The Rockets, meanwhile, were down double digit points in the first half, and though they made a second-half comeback to make the final score respectable, Jalen Green shot just 6-for-20 overall, while Jabari Smith finished 3-for-10 from the field, and that’s not going to get it done when two of your best players are shooting 30 percent.
Green finished with a line of 17 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists, a steal and a block, while Smith had 10 points, 9 rebounds and a steal and played the center position with Bruno Fernando and Alperen Sengun out.
Kevin Porter Jr. was your leading Rocket with 24 points, 5 assists, a steal and a block while shooting 10-22 from the field. With all the questions about Porter coming into the season, he’s been arguably Houston’s best player so far. He was 0-for-4 from three, however, as the Rockets were atrocious from deep all night, finishing just 11-for-40 from beyond the arc as a team.
In fact, they shot just 38.3 percent from the field for the game, offsetting the fact that their defense wasn’t half bad, holding Utah to just 42.2 percent from the field for the game and forcing 15 turnovers.
Off the bench, Garrison Mathews and KJ Martin had 11 points each, with Martin also snagging 10 rebounds for the double-double, along with 3 assists, but Houston got very little else from their reserves, including a 1-for-7 night for 3 points for Tari Eason.
The Rockets fall to 1-4 on the season and will lick their wounds from this one before heading off to Portland to take on the Trail Blazers on Friday night.