Rockets fail to find rhythm in loss to Spurs
With the Spurs going anywhere they wished, with their greatest challenge choosing between great looks, the Rockets on Wednesday were torched in their lone preseason home game against an NBA team.
Seeming a step slow from the start offensively and several steps behind the Spurs on the other end, the Rockets trailed by as much as 25 before the Spurs finished off a 128-114 wake-up call with just one preseason game left for the Rockets to get things right.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Dejounte Murray combined to make 19 of 24 shots, with Aldridge scoring 22 points in 22 minutes and Murray 20 in 21 minutes before they sat for the fourth quarter while Marco Belinelli took his turn lighting up the Rockets defense.
James Harden led the Rockets with 40 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists, but Russell Westbrook struggled through much of his home debut before getting going a bit offensively in the fourth quarter. Until then, he had as many turnovers (7) as points.
Westbrook finished with 14 points, four assists, four rebounds and eight turnovers, with the Spurs outscoring the Rockets by 26 in his 29 minutes on the floor.
While the Rockets played their planned rotation, minus veteran center Tyson Chandler who was given the night off, the Spurs were without Rudy Gay and DeMar DeRozan.
It did not matter. The Spurs mid-ranged the Rockets to death, making 62.2 percent of their first half shots to take a 65-51 lead into the second half.
They continued to score with ease no matter how deep into his bench Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ventured.
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