Houston Rockets lose heart breaker in Vegas NBA Summer League playoffs

Nov 20, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes (22) guards Houston Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels (32) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Houston Rockets 96-84. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 20, 2015; Memphis, TN, USA; Memphis Grizzlies forward Matt Barnes (22) guards Houston Rockets guard K.J. McDaniels (32) during the second half at FedExForum. Memphis Grizzlies beat Houston Rockets 96-84. Mandatory Credit: Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports /

In one of the more entertaining games of NBA Summer League the Houston Rockets were eliminated in the final seconds of their playoff game.

Just like the Houston Rockets struggle with turnovers in the regular season the same bane hurt them in their NBA Summer League elimination playoff game.

Following an incredible block by Montrezl Harrell on Patrick McCaw the Rockets had 25 seconds remaining to either tie or go ahead in the contest versus the Golden State Warriors.

Sam Dekker had leaked out down the far side of the court, and was positioned to take a wide open 3-point shot. Unfortunately K.J. McDaniels coughed the ball up virtually sealing the Rockets fate as they were forced to foul. Four Keifer Syke free throws finished off the Rockets who fell to the Warriors 80-76.

Pointing fingers at McDaniels’ costly turnover isn’t entirely fair given the youngster was the best player on the court Wednesday.  McDaniels scored 25 points hitting 3 of 5 three pointers, had 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks in his complete game.

Once again the current Rockets were the story as Harrell also had another solid outing scoring 16 points and Sam Dekker was solid with 7 points, 6 rebounds and an assist. Prospect Kenny Gaines added 10 points and 4 rebounds while Trey Freeman had 6 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists, but was cold from the field connecting on just 1 of 7 shot opportunities.

The full box score can be viewed on NBA.com

Since this is the elimination round the Rockets will not move on to play in the quarters against the Raptors. The team will play one more game in the consolation round versus the Milwaukee Bucks who also lost their match on Friday.  The outcome of the consolation games will determine the final rankings.

Scores from the other 7 games and their next matches are as follows:

  • Atlanta Hawks defeated the Sacramento Kings: 81-61. The Hawks will play the 7th seed Wizards, while the Kings will play a consolation match versus San Antonio.
  • Miami Heat bested New Orleans Pelicans: 81-77, Miami will play the 5th seeded Suns, while the Pelicans will face the D-League Select team in the consolation round.

Minnesota Timberwolves beat last year’s Summer League Champion Spurs 80-71. T-Wolves will play 8th seeded Grizzlies while the Spurs face the Kings in the consolation round. Interestingly this was the first win for the T-Wolves in Vegas and came without the services of Kris Dunn. The Spurs were playing without Kyle Anderson and the team appeared disjointed without his services and calm demeanor on the court as they lost both their last 2 games without him.

More from Space City Scoop

  • Philadelphia 76ers crushed the D-League Select team 108-71. The  Sixers will go on to the quarters to face 6th seeded Nets while the D-Leaugue Selects will face New Orleans in the consolation round.
  • Cleveland Cavaliers bested the Boston Celtics 98-94. The Cavaliers will play the 3rd seed Lakers while the Celts will play the Blazers in consolation.
  • Utah Jazz easily won their match vs the Portland Trail Blazers 86-71 . Utah will play the 4th seeded Nuggets while the Blazers will face Boston in consolation.
  • Dallas Mavericks trounced the Milwaukee Bucks 81-64. Dallas will face the 2nd seeded Bulls while the Bucks as mentioned will play our Houston Rockets in the consolation round and get their first view of upstart rookie Thon Maker.

Moving forward the Rockets have the consolation game to look forward to Friday, but the real positive that can be salvaged from the Summer League tournament is the consistent play of second year players Sam Dekker and Montrezl Harrell. Further, third year player McDaniels has showcased his stat filling complete game and given D’Antoni ample reason to consider utilizing him more this season than either McHale or Bickerstaff did in the past two seasons.

SCS will update as free agency news develops. For now if you’re a fan who wants to follow free agency closely consider checking out my Free Agency Profiles for all 30 teams:

Next: NBA Free Agency Tracker

Next: Free Agency Profiles for all 30 Teams

Along with articles covering the draft:

Next: Reviewing the top 30 Draft Picks

Next: SCS Editor Mock Draft

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