NBA Summer League: Houston Rockets Cruise To Victory In Summer League Opener

By Michael Ma

No. 11 pick Michael Carter-Williams scores 26 points for the 76ers in Day 1 of the Summer League.

Fresh off their free agent splash of landing Dwight Howard, The Houston Rockets Summer League team got off to a good start in their Orlando Pro Summer League opener, coasting to a 88-80 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

 Terrence Jones lead the way for the Rockets, finishing with 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Patrick Beverley scored 10 points and dished out 6 assists.  James Anderson added 9 points, and Greg Smith finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds in 26 minutes.

Newcomers and fresh faces contributed to the Rockets as well: Jack Cooley scored 8 points and grabbed 6 rebounds off the bench, Casper Ware added 8 points off the bench as well, and drilled two long 3s.  Tyler Honeycutt, who was traded to Rockets along with Thomas Robinson and Francisco Garcia last February, also made a contribution with 9 points and 3 rebounds.

The Sixers were led by Michael Carter-Williams, who put on an impressive performance in his first pro game.  Carter-Williams finished with 26 points, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds, while Rodney Williams added 12 points.  Khalif Wyatt added 9 points and 3 assists off the bench.

The Rockets looked like their regular club in the first half: perimeter players attacking the rim, setting up for 3s, and being aggressive on defense.  The Rockets stormed to a double-digit lead in the first quarter, and held a 25-15 advantage at the end of the first.  It was more of the same in the second quarter, as the Rockets got great defensive pressure from the point-guard trio of Beverley, Ware, and Toure’ Murry.  Houston led 48-33 at halftime.

While Carter-Williams and the rest of the Sixers came to life in the second half, the Rockets still received 5 points in the Summer League standings.  The 7-point system consists of 3 points being awarded for winning the game, 1 point awarded for each quarter won, and .5 points if a quarter is tied.

The Rockets will next play on Tuesday at 3:00 PM EST(2:00 PM CST) against the Utah Jazz.