The Houston Rockets have been playing good ball at home, downing the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns while suffering just a three-point defeat at the hands of the Miami Heat. It was a different story on Saturday night in 107-95 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Rockets fell behind by as many as 22 at one point before rallying against the Portland backups, forcing the Blazers to seal it with the A-team, but the Rockets never seriously threatened.
The Houston offense was atrocious, as they shot just 40 percent as a team and committed 15 turnovers. Most notably, they were just 3-for-29 from beyond the arc. Jalen Green, Kevin Porter Jr. and Jabari Smith were a combined 0-for-16 from three. When you take that into consideration, it’s incredible this didn’t finish a massive blowout on the scoreboard.
Green was just 5-for-16 overall for the game for 15 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and a block. He’s been in a slump and is just 2-for-19 from deep over the last three games and is shooting just 23 percent from deep over the last 15 games overall.
After the game, Green said:
“The energy dropped bad. The ball became stagnant. We play our best when we are moving the ball. It’s been that way the last two games... We were playing streetball. We were not playing together anymore. We did not have any fight... You can’t really work on bringing energy to a game. It’s kind of just a mindset. Everyone got to be on the same page... “
Kevin Porter Jr. was also poor in this game, finishing with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals while shooting just 3-for-10 from the field to go along with 6 turnovers. Porter is also in a shooting slump, as he’s hitting just 2-for-23 from beyond the arc over his last five games.
Other Rockets notables were Alperen Sengun, who finished with 10 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks, Tari Eason, who had 13 points and 6 boards, and KJ Martin, who was probably your best Rocket on the evening, finishing with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal while shooting 6-for-9 from the field.
As for the Blazers, Anfernee Simmons lit up the scoreboard, going off for 32 points, while Damian Lillard had 25 points and 10 assists to lead the way for Portland.
The Rockets now fall to 9-20 on the season and have lost their second straight game at home. They do, however, have three more in a row at the Toyota Center, with the San Antonio Spurs, Orlando Magic and Dallas Mavericks all on tap. They could legitimately come out of that set with two or even three wins if they can get back to playing their best ball at home.
First up are the Spurs on Monday at 7:00pm central.