The Houston Rockets weren’t able to get much of anything going on Saturday night against the Boston Celtics, as tired legs led to poor shooting, and poor shooting led to a 145-113 defeat at the hands of head coach Ime Udoka’s former squad.
The Rockets hit on just 40 pecent of their shots from the field while also going just 7-for-30 from beyond the arc. Meanwhile, Houston’s defense was shredded to the tune of 53 percent shooting from the field for the Celtics along with 24-for-47 from deep. The duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown went off on the night for a combined 59 points.
This was not a suprising loss for the Rockets, as they were playing against one of the league’s top teams on the road on the second night of a back-to-back. The Rockets basically only hung tight for a quarter or so, heading into the break down 11 points, and by the third quarter, the route was on.
Houston was led in scoring by Cam Whitmore, who got his most extensive run of the season, and he finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds on 7-for-13 shooting from the field in 28 minutes of action. That was career-high in scoring for Whitmore. Some fans are already calling for him to replace Jalen Green, who continues to be inconsistent at best (10 points, 3-for-9 shooting).
Houston’s other rookie Amen Thompson also had the best game of his career so far, filling up the stat sheet to the tune of 10 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 25 minutes.
As for the starters, Alperen Sengun was the leader there, as he put up 19 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. He played just 24 minutes due to the blow out.
Dillon Brooks played his first game since December 26, and though it obviously didn’t make much difference in the final score, it was good to have The Villain back in the lineup. Though he did finished with just 12 points and 1 rebound.
I wouldn’t read too much into this loss, as we all knew that Houston wasn’t quite at Boston’s level. Add in the road game where Houston has struggled all season on top of the back-to-back, and that was a recipe for disaster.
The Rockets fell to 19-19 on the season, and they’ll be back in action on Monday afternoon with a 12:00 noon game in Philly against the 76ers for MLK Day.