clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

San Antonio vs. Houston, Final Score: Rockets dominate Spurs in rematch 142-110

The Spurs played their worst defensive game of the year against the freewheeling Rockets to lose by a bunch

San Antonio Spurs v Houston Rockets Photo by Logan Riely/NBAE via Getty Images

None of last night’s starters were available for tonight’s rematch against the Rockets, and while the players were different, the result wasn’t that different, except maybe a little more emphatic. The Spurs struggled to defend the Rockets last night, and tonight it was much worse, as the Rockets bettered their 70 first half points on Saturday with 73 tonight. The Spurs didn’t fare any better in the second half as the Rocket put the game away, scoring 69 in the second half, blowing out the Spurs 142-110. The Spurs missed Jeremy Sochan’s energy and chippiness tonight as the Rockets dominated after the first 3 minutes into the game through extended garbage time in the fourth quarter and no one on the Spurs stepped up to fight back.

Devonte’ Graham once again showed that he is the one player on the Spurs that can create his own offense and make points even when the Silver and Black offense become stagnant. Neither team had brilliant offense in the game, but the Spurs defense made things too easy for the Rockets as Jalen Green and Kenyon Martin Jr. got free runs to the basket time after time, and once Green started to hit his three-point shot, the rout was on. This was a pretty bad loss, but it probably doesn’t matter that much, since this year isn’t really about winning games. It does end up with a lot of ugly basketball to watch, while there are some bright spots: this was a pretty good game for Charles Bassey, even though he couldn’t do much about the complete lack of team defense from the rest of the players wearing Silver and Black. This was a whipping, and the Spurs now have 4 days off to practice and get well for their next opponent, the Nuggets on next Friday night.

Game Flow

Keldon Johnson announced his return to the lineup with a terrific assist for Malaki Branham for an and-one to give the Spurs a 3-0 lead to start the game, which the Spurs extended to a quick 10-2 lead. The Rockets got it going both from distance and the paint, and took over after that to dominate the rest of the frame and led 38-24 at the end of the first.

The Spurs got it going early in the second quarter with Mamukelashvili making an impact on both ends with steals, blocks and scoring, and got the deficit back to single digits. The Spurs defense wasn’t holding up their end of the deal, though, as they were slow to set up after a made basket, which was exposed by the Rocket’s quickness for quick scores. The Spurs finally figured out that they had more size than the Rockets and took advantage of it with Bassey inside as they were able to score in the paint, but the Rockets took advantage on their end as the quicker Houston players blew by him for spectacular dunks, [not all his fault, there was no help defense] and led 73-63 on a Kevin Porter Jr. triple at the halftime buzzer.

Both teams were mistake-prone as play resumed, and the game was pretty choppy as foul calls interrupted play. The Spurs’ mistakes were more costly as they gave away live ball turnovers, and after a breakaway dunk by Jalen Green, Pop called a timeout with the Spurs down 81-69. Pop’s pep talk didn’t stop the avalanche as the Rockets went nuclear with Jalen Green finding the range and hitting triples. With the Rockets leading by 20+, the game was getting out of hand, and the only bright spot for the Silver and Black was Devonte’ Graham making enough shots to keep the Rockets from making it embarrassing as Houston led 108-87 after three quarters.

This final quarter started with a cavalcade of turnovers for both teams, until Garuba finally hit a triple to give the Rockets their biggest lead. The Spurs let go of the rope a little, and the Rockets blew it open with everyone getting into the act. Boban Marjanovic finally entered the game in garbage time, and it was one of the highlights of a pretty dreary night. Dominick Barlow and Julian Champagnie got some extended run after the score was out of hand, and both of them looked like they had some talent.


  • They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, he we are, watching the Spurs play the Rockets for the second night in a row.
  • This year’s Spurs without Jeremy Sochan are hard to watch. I said what I said.
  • None of the Spurs starters from last night were in the starting lineup. It’s really hard to have continuity when you have that much turnover in the lineup.
  • With Zach out tonight, expect to see a lot of Charles Bassey, Sandro Mamukelashvili, and Dominick Barlow. I don’t expect to see Gorgui Dieng play a lot, but if he does, his lack of speed will really be a big problem against the athletic Rockets.
  • In the first quarter, Tari Eason dunked the ball which went through and bounced off Mamu’s face and back out through the hoop. In real time, it looked like it might not have been a basket. In slo-mo, it looked really painful for Sandro.
  • Jalen Green didn’t have a stand out game last night, but his offensive game was in full effect tonight.
  • The Spurs gave up 70 points in the first half last night. Tonight, they gave up 73. That’s not what you call improvement. This is a historically bad defense.
  • I’m not really that impressed with Stephen Silas as a coach. I know the Rockets are a tanking team, but they just don’t really look organized out on the court. I know that’s a funny thing to say about a team that blew out the Spurs on consecutive nights, but the Spurs are legitimately bad, and I don’t know if the Rockets really are.
  • I think this game might have set some kind of record for missed dunks, almost all of them by the Rockets. The misses didn’t cost them, though, as they drew foul calls on almost all of them.
  • It was actually fun to watch Boban Marjanovic and Gorgui Dieng lumbering up and down the court in garbage time. Finally, Gorgui was able to match up a player that wasn’t quicker than him, albeit about half a foot taller.
  • I made a joke about point guard Boban in the game thread, but it actually happened in the fourth quarter.

For the Rockets fans’ perspective, please visit The Dream Shake.

The schedule makers have done a favor for the Spurs with a few days off after tonight, they don’t play again until Friday night, against Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets. See you then!