Rockets Remain Red-Hot
Jones shines again as Rockets beat Boston 85-78
HOUSTON - Knowing full well what they have in their summer league starting backcourt, the Rockets decided to shake up their starting five Wednesday by giving rookies Vander Blue and Casper Ware an opportunity to fill in for the already established duo of Patrick Beverley and James Anderson. The early returns were somewhat expected, as Houston struggled through a shaky start that saw the club quickly fall behind. From that point forward, however, the Rockets barely missed a beat, responding with an eye-opening 33-10 run that powered them to an 85-78 win, allowing Houston to maintain its perfect summer league record.
Blue and Ware held their own throughout, with the Marquette product proving especially effective while pouring in 16 points and recording a team-high plus-minus of +14. Robert Covington and Jack Cooley made their mark as well, combining for 14 points and 19 rebounds.
But while the new kids were working hard to impress, it was a familiar face that stole the show yet again. Terrence Jones continued his terrific summer run by leading the Rockets with a game-high 17 points. Jones duplicated what he has done in all three of Houston’s summer league games so far, establishing himself as a force on both ends of the floor with his ability to score, get to the line, hit the boards, block shots, knock down a perimeter jumper or two, and even create off the dribble from time to time.
Both he and Beverley have made the most of just about every minute they’ve been on the floor in Orlando, and their sparkling play is a big reason why the Rockets are well-positioned to earn a spot in Friday’s title game. Houston plays winless Brooklyn Thursday at 2PM CST and a Rockets win in that contest likely locks them into the championship tilt.
And-1s: Rockets rookie Isaiah Canaan missed his third straight game Wednesday with a sprained right ankle. His status remains day-to-day.
With Wednesday’s win, the Rockets’ record improved to 32-6 in summer league play since 2005.