Summer Squad Fizzles in 92-71 Loss to 76ers

Drop to 0-3 in Orlando Summer League
by Jason Friedman
Rockets.com Writer/Reporter

The Rockets’ summer league squad finally resolved its first quarter foibles during Tuesday evening’s showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers. What they could not do, however, is figure out how to collect their first victory of the Orlando event as another rocky shooting performance doomed Houston to a 92-71 defeat.

The contest began brightly enough from a Rockets’ perspective as Jabari Brown got his club off to a splendid start thanks to his scoring exploits. The rookie out of the University of Missouri almost singlehandedly sparked a 9-0 run in the opening period, staking Houston to a double-digit lead in the process. All told, Brown tallied 12 points of his 16 points for the contest in the first quarter.

But while Brown and his teammates eventually cooled, the Sixers responded by turning up the heat to a level that was nothing short of scorching. Philadelphia’s rally started with a big boost from its stable of long, hyper athletic players who made life miserable for Houston on both ends of the floor. The Sixers blocked eight shots in all while adversely affecting at least twice that number. They also recorded a dozen steals. At the opposite end of the floor, meanwhile, Philly feasted on the offensive glass, creating a bevy of extra scoring opportunities thanks to its plethora of long armed and bouncy big men.

By the early stages of the third quarter, the Sixers had stormed back to lay claim to a 16-point advantage. A Nick Johnson-fueled 7-0 run allowed the Rockets to briefly diminish its deficit. But Houston’s inability to consistently connect from the field stymied any remaining hope it may have had to complete the comeback. The Rockets finished the game shooting just 34.4 percent overall while hitting a meager 6-of-27 from beyond the arc. By contrast, Philadelphia shot just a shade below 50 percent while knocking down 10 of its 19 3-point bombs. 

Jahii Carson led Houston in scoring with 18 points while Johnson delivered 11 points, five rebounds and four assists. 

The Rockets, now 0-3 in summer league action, will take Wednesday off before returning to the floor Thursday evening at 6PM CST for a date with the Memphis Grizzlies.