Houston Rockets end preseason with first lost against the Spurs
By Tevin Williams
The Houston Rockets will finish the preseason with a 4-1 record after losing their first exhibition game to the San Antonio Spurs.
The Houston Rockets lost their first game to the San Antonio Spurs 106-97 in the preseason finale. It was our first glimpse of a matchup that we could see in the postseason, although neither team was operating at full strength.
Kawhi Leonard has missed the entire preseason and he has also been ruled out for San Antonio’s opener due to a quad injury. Tony Parker will also miss an extended amount of time as he recovers from surgery on his left quad.
The Rockets were without Chris Paul, who missed the game due to a bruised left knee. It isn’t a serious injury, and the Rockets only sat him for precautionary measures. Paul is expected to suit up for Houston’s season opener against the Golden State.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the way for the Spurs, scoring 26 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Rudy Gay pitched in 14 points and 7 rebounds off of the bench as he looks to find his groove coming back from the dreaded achilles tendon tear.
For Houston, Eric Gordon continued his hot streak, pouring in a game-high 27 points and nailing 6 3-pointers. Gordon has been the most impressive player in the preseason for Houston, averaging 19 points and 4.6 made 3-pointers a game. James Harden had 15 points and 11 assists, walking away with four double-doubles in five preseason games.
Tarik Black saw the court for the first time this year, as he looks to make an impact in his second stint in Houston. Black scored 4 points and grabbed 3 rebounds in 16 minutes of play.
With Chris Paul out, Mike D’Antoni opted to let Luc Mbah a Moute play back up point guard. It’s great that Houston has two of the best facilitators in the game, but they need a third point guard to set up the offense in the case that either Harden or Paul suffers an injury.
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Nevertheless, the preseason is over, and the start of the regular season is steady approaching. We’ve seen Chris Paul step on the floor with Harden and the rest of his teammates, but now its time to kick it up a notch. The Rockets will take on the Golden State Warriors in the season opener on Oct. 17 at 9:30 CT on TNT. It should be a very fun matchup.