The Houston Rockets took another one on the chin today, falling to the Philadelphia 76ers 124-115 in a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicated. Houston was down by as many as 28 points in the first half, as the 76ers punched them in the mouth physically to start, and Houston, despite closing the gap, never fully recovered.
Joel Embiid returned from injury (because of course he did) and took it to Houston, putting up 41 points and 10 boards in just 31 minutes of action. A secondary big man that can play defense and put another body on guys is an absolute must for this Rockets roster. While Embiid is fully capable of doing this to anybody, the Rockets have no one on their team really even capable of making him work.
For the second straight game, Houston’s defense was absolutely shredded, as the 76ers shot 48 percent from the field and 15-for-31 from beyond the arc. Philly had 66 points at halftime.
Tyrese Maxey unsurprisingly also took it to the Rockets, as he put up 27 points and 7 assists. He was 6-for-10 from three.
As for Houston, they were led by Jalen Green’s 20 points. He was 7-for-16 from the field but just 1-for-7 from three. In fact, the Rockets were awful from deep overall once again, going just 8-for-27. This has obviously been a long, tiring road trip for the Rockets with still one more game to go before heading home.
Other Rockets scorers were Alperen Sengun, who finished with 19 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. He was 7-for-15 from the field. Houston also got 18 points and 6 boards from Dillon Brooks, 13 points and 7 boards from Jabari Smith Jr., and 14 points each from Cam Whitmore and Amen Thompson, who we’re both starting to see more of. Whitmore also had 6 rebounds.
The Rockets are now under .500 after falling to 19-20. They’ll be back in action on Wednesday for their final road game of this trip, when they take on the New York Knicks at MSG.