Houston Rockets Suffer First Loss In Vegas To Raptors


Houston Rockets Lose to Raptors

Despite being shorthanded through their first two games of the NBA Vegas Summer League tournament the Rockets had posted over 100 points in each and won both games. Game 3 on Monday wasn’t quite so fortunate when the Rockets who ran up against a team who was also unbeaten and seemingly running all cylinders: the Toronto Raptors. Though Houston made a late game surge the Raptors second round pick Norman Powell made sure to keep his team on the winning side.

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After a solid showing in his first outing Montrezl Harrell backed up his second game posting 15 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists a steal and a block, however he wasn’t as energetic as he was on Sunday and most of his production came in the later stages of the game.

For the third straight game Sam Dekker (lower back),  Clint Capela (knee tendinitis) and Nick Johnson (calf) didn’t play due to injury and perhaps the lack of roster help finally caught up to them.

Glen Rice Jr. had another stellar game scoring a game high 28 points and chipped in with 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 4 steals. D.J. Kennedy  posted another solid showing with 12 points, 9 rebounds (3 offensive), an assist and 4 steals.

On the Raptors side the 46th second round pick Norman Powell put up another double digit effort and had the announcers referring to him as Mr. Swagger. Through the 3 winning games of the Raptors he’s starting to turn heads since pundits expected his defense but his field goal shooting has shocked everyone. Powell is shooting 60.2% from the field and averaging 19.3 points. In addition his defense is living up to rumored expectation of 4.7 rebounds, 1.6 steals and 1.3 blocks.

With the Raptors  decision to not offer Lou Williams a contract and Terrence Ross less than stellar third season Powell is making a case to earn a position and regular playing time on the Raptors team. After losing Amir Johnson in free agency along with Tyler Hansbrough, Chuck Hayes and Greg Stiemsma while only adding Luis Scola the Raptors are very thin up front. Therefore the emergence of Lucas “Bebe” Nogueira  in the Summer League has Raptors management smiling. He’s playing through injury to boot so his 10 rebounds, 3 offensive boards and  3 blocks  average in the tournament is encouraging for a team who is desperate to add offensive rebounds and blocks to their game plans.

By virtue of the loss the Rockets now enter the bracketed portion of the tournament needing to win over Milwaukee  to move on for an opportunity to win the tournament or another loss will mean they enter the consolation portion of the tournament.

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