The Houston Rockets are 7-18 on the season. There’s been no shortage of ugly losses so far. But in a season with plenty, this may be the ugliest. The Rockets couldn’t defend a lick and allowed the C team for the San Antonio Spurs to rack up 55 percent shooting from the field in a 118-109 defeat.
Houston allowed Keldon Johnson to go off for 32 points and Tre Jones to go buckwild for 26, and while good for my fantasy team, it is hardly a recipe for success. Johnson finished 14-for-21 from the field while Jones was 10-for-16.
On Houston’s side, Jabari Smith Jr. had a good game, finishing with 23 points and 4 rebounds on 9-for-13 shooting from the field and 4-for-7 from deep, while Alperen Sengun had 16 points, 11 boards and 2 assists on 8-for-17 from the field.
Other than those two, however, Houston struggled, as Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. combined to shoot just 10-for-33 from the field, as the Rockets shot just 45 percent overall from the field.
Houston actually took a 54-51 lead into the halftime break, but things fell apart in the second half, particulalry the third quarter, where the Rockets were outscored 39-23 and never recovered. They closed the gap a bit down the stretch of the fourth with the game mostly decided, but the damage was already done.
So the overarching lesson we learned is that while the Rockets are making progress with learning how to win, they still show all the hallmarks of the young team that they are: inconsistent play and major struggles on the road. That will only come with time, and in the meantime, it’s likely this is far from the last loss of this type we’ll see this season.
The Rockets are now off Friday and Saturday but will return to the court on Sunday with a tough game against the Milwaukee Bucks. At least it will be at home.