Some shined and some didn’t as the Houston Rockets opened their season against the Milwaukee Bucks in a game that featured the league’s last three MVPs.
The Houston Rockets looked to start off the 2019-20 campaign better than last year when they lost to the New Orleans Pelicans. Mike D’Antoni’s crew started the game off quickly, pushing the pace, switching every time on defense and establishing an early 17-5 advantage.
James Harden didn’t have a made field goal in the first quarter but did get to the free-throw line often. Russell Westbrook started off cold from the field but was pushing the pace on fast breaks, getting P.J. Tucker and Danuel House open shots in the corner. The Rockets led at halftime 66-50 and seemed to be in control of the game.
Unfortunately, the second half was another story as the Rockets were outscored 67-45. Houston missed open shot after open shot while Giannis Antetokounmpo got hot in the second half as the Rockets allowed their lead evaporate and end in a 117-111 loss to Milwaukee.
Here is a breakdown of how every Rocket performed in Thursday’s season-opener:
Next: The Starters
The Houston Rockets Starters
Next: The Bench
The Houston Rockets Bench
The Rockets led the entire game up until the fourth quarter. In the first half, the ball was moving around the court and the 3-pointers were falling at a good rate. The defense clogged the lane and ran the Bucks 3-point shooters off the line. The second half slowly went downhill. Antetokounmpo took over in the second half, helping the Bucks erase a 16-point half time deficit before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. The shots that were falling in the first quarter were not falling for anyone except Westbrook in the fourth. Overall, the Rockets had good moments that showed they can compete with anyone, but there is still a lot of work to be done heading into game two and the rest of the year.
Next up for the Rockets, the New Orleans Pelicans on Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. ET