Rockets Go Cold in 87-69 Loss to Magic

Drop to 0-2 in Orlando Summer League
by Jason Friedman
Rockets.com Writer/Reporter

The Rockets’ summer league squad endured a collective case of the Mondays this afternoon, enduring an 87-69 defeat at the hands of the Orlando Magic.

Houston fell behind big early as Orlando’s suffocating and swarming team defense made life miserable for the Rockets’ perimeter shooters right from the outset. Houston knocked down just three of its 18 attempts from the field in the opening stanza and hit the halftime break sporting a hit rate just a shade above 26 percent. The end result: the Rockets found themselves facing a 23-point hole by the time the second half began.

The third quarter saw improvement from Houston as the club put its own defensive chops on display by limiting the Magic to just 11 points in the period. And with rookie Nick Johnson (13 points) and Chris Crawford (12 points) again pacing the team’s offensive attack, the Rockets were able to slowly chip away at the sizable deficit before them.

Completing the comeback, however, proved to be too tough a task. Houston finished the game with an unsightly 5-of-26 mark from beyond the 3-point arc while Orlando’s two 2014 lottery picks, Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton, delivered quality work on both ends of the floor as the Magic’s lead never did dip below double figures.

The Rockets’ summer league record now drops to 0-2 and the club will try again to pick up its first win of the event Wednesday evening when they go head-to-head with the Philadelphia 76ers at 6PM CST.