Christian Wooden had 31 factors and 14 rebounds and Houston beat the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder 124-91 on Friday evening within the Rockets’ dwelling opener.
Oklahoma Metropolis had few solutions for Wooden, who went 13 for 19 from the sphere, together with 4 of 6 from the 3-point line. Fourth in Most Improved Participant voting final season, he additionally blocked three photographs and had a steal.
“We didn’t actually like how we began the primary recreation, so we had an emphasis on beginning sturdy, and we felt like we did that in the present day,” Wooden stated. “I knew I needed to come out with vitality, and I needed to convey it. Earlier than the sport, everyone was fired up, and that’s what you like to see.”
The Rockets appeared significantly better than they did of their 124-106 season-opening loss in Minnesota on Wednesday evening.
“I believe we realized from the final recreation so far as the readiness that we have to have, the vitality from the beginning, and the way we have to play collectively,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas stated. “We didn’t like the best way that we performed in Sport 1, and we rectified it, which is hopefully an indication of issues to come back so far as taking adversity, studying from it and doing higher.”
Silas stated he referred to as fewer performs Friday evening than he did within the opener and was happy with the outcomes.
Kevin Porter Jr. had 18 factors and 9 assists. Veteran capturing guard Eric Gordon scored 22 factors on 4-of-6 capturing from 3, and Jae’Sean Tate had 16 factors, 14 rebounds and 5 assists.
“The primary recreation, there have been a whole lot of jitters with us being a brand new group,” Porter stated. “We simply wished to show it round. It’s not about having only one unhealthy recreation. There are 82 of them. It’s the way you reply. We responded nice tonight.”
Second-overall draft choose Jalen Inexperienced had 9 factors in his dwelling debut. Porter referred to as Inexperienced his “little brother” and talked about their mutual respect for one another. Alperen Sengun, the sixteenth total choose, had six factors and 4 rebounds off the bench. Together with Inexperienced, Sengun, and fellow first-round picks Josh Christopher and Usman Garuba, the Rockets performed 4 19-year-olds.
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Mike Muscala led Oklahoma Metropolis with 13 factors apiece, and Kenrich Williams scored 12 factors off the bench. Oklahoma Metropolis shot simply 37% from the sphere and made 9 of 16 free throws.
“Houston got here out actually aggressive with an ideal rhythm,” Thunder coach Mark Daigneault stated. “That’s a credit score to them. It’s important to use physicality and a group mentality.”
Houston dominated Oklahoma Metropolis within the paint, outscoring the Thunder 58-34 and profitable the rebounding battle 53-40.
The Rockets jumped to a double-digit lead early and led 33-21 on the finish of the primary quarter and led 69-47 at halftime.
The Thunder fell to 0-2 after dropping their opener to Utah on Wednesday evening.
Thunder: Oklahoma Metropolis allowed 21 second-chance factors to the Rockets and scored solely 11 second-chance factors. … Luguentz Dort had eight factors on 3-of-9 capturing in 27 minutes.
Rockets: Danuel Home Jr. made his season debut after lacking the opener for an unspecified private cause. Home had two factors and three rebounds in 11 minutes off the bench.
‘LIGHT THE FUSE’
Houston rappers Paul Wall, Bun B and Slim Thug carried out their new track “Gentle The Fuse” as halftime leisure. The track, which debuted earlier this month, was recorded for the Rockets and makes reference to a number of gamers on the group, together with Christian Wooden, Jalen Inexperienced, Jae’Sean Tate and others.
THE DREAM COMES THROUGH
Rockets Corridor of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon tried the ceremonial “First Shot” free throw earlier than tipoff, rattling it in to safe a $5,000 donation from the Rockets to the Clutch Metropolis Basis.
Former Rockets participant and Houston native Gerald Inexperienced introduced his retirement from the NBA on Friday. The 2007 NBA Slam Dunk Contest winner, Inexperienced, 35, final performed for Houston within the 2018-19 season. He averaged 9.7 factors in 658 video games. He’ll be a part of the Rockets’ teaching employees as a participant improvement coach.
HE SAID IT
“I haven’t seen the spotlight, however whoa… whoa… that was loopy.” — Silas on a high-flying missed dunk by Jalen Inexperienced the place his head was above the rim.
Thunder: Host Philadelphia on Sunday.
Rockets: Host Boston on Sunday.