December 15th is the unofficial start of NBA trade season, and rumors and news will be sure to pick up soon. Eric Gordon and Kenyon Martin Jr. have been linked to the Phoenix Suns in several three-team trades, but nothing has materialized. Stay tuned for a busy holiday season.
Rockets win streak comes crashing down
The Houston Rockets’ two-game win streak, their longest of the season, came to a screeching halt at the hands of the Denver Nuggets on Monday night. However, the 113-129 road defeat obscures what was an excellent first half offensive performance from the Rockets.
The Rockets dropped 68 points on the Nuggets in the first half and had the game within two points as both teams went to regroup for the final 24 minutes of action. Alperen Sengun was particularly impressive, scoring 15 points on seven of eleven shooting and going blow for blow with Nikola Jokic, who entered halftime with 16 points on four of ten shooting.
Unfortunately, the gulf in class became apparent as Denver’s dynamic duo of Jamal Murray, who scored 22 first half points to keep the Nuggets in the game, and Jokic took over. Murray added another nine points in nine minutes, and Jokic showed exactly why he is the back-to-back MVP, scoring 16 second-half points on seven for seven shooting.
The Rockets’ collapse in the second half was only possible because of an excellent first half and is another indicator that their young core is headed in the right direction. The Rockets will again face the Nuggets in Denver on Wednesday. The two won’t face each other again until February 28th in Houston.
More Rockets News
Jae’Sean Tate missed his 13th consecutive game with a right ankle injury. An earlier report by Kelly Iko suggested a return to action within the next week. Tate has been limited to three games this season due to a right ankle injury that bothered him in the preseason and lingered into the beginning of the season before reinjuring the ankle at the end of October. With the chronic nature of the injury and scarce updates, his return to action, and in what capacity, remains a question.
TyTy Washington, after sustaining an ankle injury of his own, has been lighting the G-League on fire as he gears up for a return to NBA action. In eight G-League games, he is averaging 20.4 points per game on 47.1% shooting from the field and 37.7% from 3-point range on 7.6 attempts per game. His assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.33 is also a promising development, as well as his 119.8 offensive rating. He also made his way to SportsCenter with this nasty move.
The Rockets haven’t announced when he’ll make his way back to the NBA, but with the way he is playing, it should be a matter of days and not weeks.
Karl-Anthony Towns suffered a calf strain that will sideline him for several weeks. He is expected to return to action in January.
Ben Simmons left the Brooklyn Nets’ victory over the Orlando Magic with knee soreness. He missed time with knee soreness earlier in the season and missed all of last season over a trade demand and back injury.