Player grades from the Houston Rockets’ 128-114 loss to the Spurs

Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Houston Rockets James Harden (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon – Houston Rockets (Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images) /

The Bench

ERIC GORDON. A. As expected, Eric Gordon thrived in his role off the bench. When things were getting out of hand early and San Antonio took a 14-point lead, Gordon buried a deep three to keep the Rockets in the game. Eric buried three more throughout the course of the game to finish the night with 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting. While he didn’t do much else, Gordon’s efficient shooting earns him an A.. Guard. Houston Rockets

C. Austin Rivers had a few positive moments but overall was not effective against San Antonio. Rivers started off missing a wide-open three from the corner, then airballed a three from the corner later in the game. He would make one of his four attempts from the outside by the end of the night to finish with four points.. Guard. Houston Rockets. AUSTIN RIVERS

Guard/Forward. Houston Rockets. THABO SEFOLOSHA. C -. Thabo Sefolosha was yet another Rocket that didn’t seem ready to go on Wednesday. Apart from his five defensive rebounds, he had no defensive statistics to show for in his 15 minutes on the floor. Sefolosha also went scoreless on 0-for-3 from the field, including one possession in which he missed a layup and followed his own shot with another missed layup. It was a forgettable night for the veteran.

Houston Rockets. BEN MCLEMORE. B. Ben McLemore only played 14 minutes on Wednesday and many of those were in garbage time against the deep end of the Spurs’ bench. Still, McLemore did well on the offensive end with a nice backdoor cut to finish an alley-oop pass from James Harden. He and Chris Clemons led a furious last-minute charge in the fourth quarter, as he nailed two of his three attempts from outside to finish with 10 points. Houston could have used some more help from him on the glass, however, as he finished with no rebounds.. Guard

ISAIAH HARTENSTEIN. D. While it isn’t quite fair to give Isaiah Hartenstein an F after he only played eight minutes, he was certainly headed that way. The 7-footer came in and immediately got lost on defense against Jakob Poeltl, giving up an offensive rebound and putback. Soon after, Isaiah was nowhere to be found as Poeltl ran the floor on a fast break and drew Russell Westbrook’s fifth foul. Hartenstein followed that up by traveling while right under the basket. The one bright spot for the big man was his two blocks, which happened to be the only blocks of the night for the Rockets.. Forward. Houston Rockets

CHRIS CLEMONS. A +. The other positive that came out of Wednesday’s beating was Chris Clemons. Mike D’Antoni recently mentioned the undrafted guard as someone that could earn more minutes after the loss of Gerald Green. Well, Clemons took full advantage of his 12 minutes, firing away in the fourth quarter and leading a comeback attempt after Houston was down by as many as 25. While he only played the fourth quarter, he still managed to put up 10 shots and made five. The 5-9 point guard also pitched in two rebounds, two assists and a steal, ending the night with 13 points. This game should be the one that solidifies his spot in the rotation.. Guard. Houston Rockets

*Note: Ryan Anderson and Gary Clark played five minutes each, so weren’t graded. Clark’s three offensive rebounds in those five minutes were impressive, though.

Overall, the Houston Rockets were due for a bad game. Everyone but Harden and Clemons seemed a step slow on both ends and just didn’t seem too pumped up on Wednesday. Going forward, Mike D’Antoni will have to figure out a way to make up for bad shooting with better defense, or vice versa.

Next. Why James Harden will win MVP this season

The Rockets wrap up their preseason with a matchup in Miami on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.