The Houston Rockets had another close game, this time coming up short against the Portland Trail Blazers, but they gained something important on the way.
The Houston Rockets lost their first game of the regular season restart in the bubble on Tuesday, losing 110-102 in yet another game that came down to the last few seconds.
James Harden was held under 25 points for the second straight game, scoring just 23 on 17 shots. Harden also missed some key 3-point shots down the stretch that could’ve propelled Houston to victory. Harden did, however, get double-teamed and trapped all game long, but countered them by being a willing passer, ending the night with nine assists.
Russell Westbrook struggled Tuesday night, shooting just 35.7 percent from the field. He made up for it by moving the ball around, ending the night with nine assists of his own.
Robert Covington also struggled shooting the ball, going 2-for-11 from the field. He will need to be effective shooting the ball if the Rockets want to get far in the postseason. So far in the bubble, Covington has underperformed for the Rockets on the offensive end.
The Silver lining for the Houston Rockets
While Houston may have dropped one against Portland, there was one main positive takeaway from the game. Danuel House continued to show why he deserves to be in the starting five, even when Eric Gordon returns to action.
Fresh off of his clutch steal and great game in the previous outing, House scored 17 points in Tuesday’s loss against Portland. He continues to be effective at the 3-point line, shooting 40 percent on 10 shots.
He also showed off his finishing skills by driving into the lane, hitting tough layups, and drawing fouls. House has provided Houston with great defense from every area of the court, great hustle minutes, and a consistent offensive output night after night
Houston should continue to increase House’s minutes, as he has been a great asset for them during their time in the bubble.
Houston now looks to face the Los Angelas Lakers on Thursday.