The Houston Rockets were looking for three in a row on Friday night against the Toronto Raptors, but the team was playing without several key pieces and fell apart in the third quarter before a late run made the final score a more respectable looking 117-111 loss.
Without Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr., the Rockets were led in scoring by Eric Gordon, who went for 28 points, 3 rebounds and 5 assists on 10-for-15 shooting from the field, perhaps gaining a nice audition as we head towards next week’s trade deadline.
Houston also got 21 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals from Alperen Sengun on 6-for-10 from the field and 9-for-12 from the free throw line, as he continues to show out and look like the Rockets best player, while KJ Martin added 20 points and 6 boards on 8-for-9 from the field and Jabari Smith Jr. pitched in 14 points, 8 boards and 3 assists while knocking down 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.
In fact, the Rockets actually outshot the Raptors on Friday night 50 percent to 46 percent but the third-quarter hole they dug themselves was just too big for them to get out of, as the Raptors made eight more threes and attempted 14 more than the Rockets. That was a major difference in the game.
Toronto was led by Fred VanVleet, who finished with 32 points, and Gary Trent Jr. and Pascal Siakam dropped 29 and 23 respectively to round out the top scorers for the Raptors.
Houston has no time to lick their wounds, however, with a back-to-back on tap for Saturday night, as they hit the road for a rematch with the Oklahoma City Thunder in OKC. Jalen Green is reportedly close to a return, though there’s no official word yet whether or not he’ll be available tonight. Gordon, who often sits in B2Bs, will likely play tonight, especially if Green doesn’t go, as the Rockets will be thin at guard and the team is showcasing him for a (hopeful) deal.
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