The Houston Rockets couldn’t stop anything on Friday night against the Portland Trail Blazers, as their defense was shredded in a 125-111 loss. The Rockets gave up 53.3 percent shooting from the field and 13 three-pointers and let Anfernee Simmons get loose for 30 points and 7 assists and Jusuf Nurkic rampage for 27 points, 15 rebounds and 3 blocks.
Houston’s offense simply didn’t have the firepower to keep up with Jalen Green struggling for the second straight game. He shot just 4-for-19 and had 11 points and 6 boards. Jabari Smith Jr. also continued to struggle, at least offensively, shooting just 4-for-13 from the field for 12 points, 2 boards and a block, while Kevin Porter Jr. was just 6-for-14 from the field for 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
The Rockets fell behind early and simply couldn’t get the stops they needed to make a comeback, and with the offense also struggling, a young team like Houston is going to get blown out of the water. In fact, the leading scorer was Eric Gordon, who finished with 18 points, as he knocked down 4-for-7 from three-point range.
Alperen Sengun was another bright spot in his return to the lineup, finishing with 14 points, 11 boards and 3 blocked shots on 6-for-12 shooting from the field.
Houston also got very little bench production despite 12 players getting court time, with KJ Martin putting in 11 points and 4 boards and Jae’Sean Tate finishing with 9 points, 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Josh Christopher still remains inexplicably tied to the bench, as he played just one minute on the night. It’s an interesting decision by Stephen Silas, as Christopher, for all of his faults, is certainly capable of providing the Rockets with instant energy on nights that they need a spark.
Houston now falls to 1-5 on the season, and they are also 0-4 on the road, which is unsurprising for a young team with a difficult opening schedule. It’s not gonna get any easier on Sunday as the Rockets start a back-to-back set against both the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers, both on the road.