In James Harden’s second and the Houston Rockets’ final NBA preseason game against the San Antonio Spurs, the Rockets won comfortably after taking an early seven-point lead in the first quarter. For the Rockets, both DeMarcus Cousins and John Wall were rested in preparation for the Houston Rockets’ return to the regular NBA season against the Oklahoma City Thunder on December 24. The San Antonio Spurs missed both Keita Bates-Diop and Keldon Johnson, who are expected to return for the team's first NBA regular season game against the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Houston Rockets take early control as Christian Wood goes off against the San Antonio Spurs
The Houston Rockets started the game strong and built an early lead after quick buckets from Eric Gordon and Christian Wood. Wood recently signed a three-year, $41 million deal with the Houston Rockets after starting the NBA offseason as a free agent. He was dealing with a minor elbow injury and ended the game with 27 points.
The San Antonio Spurs could not get their offensive act, together although the second quarter was not as one-sided as the first. However, the Spurs’ defense appeared haphazard in the third quarter as they appeared incapable of dealing with the Houston Rockets’ sharp ball movement.
By the end of the third quarter, the Houston Rockets had increased their lead to 30 points. James Harden began to dominate proceedings and was the major ball-handler as one would expect. Harden finished the game with 20 points and led his team against a woeful San Antonio Spurs defense that appeared to be lacking intensity.
On the opposite end of the court, the San Antonio Spurs displayed slow ball movement and had an overall field-goal percentage of just 40.9. Conversely, the Houston Rockets were offensively efficient and registered a field goal percentage of 52.7.
With the Houston Rockets fielding their reserves in the fourth quarter, the San Antonio Spurs registered a resurgence of sorts and bit into the Houston Rockets' lead. However, it was hardly enough as the game ended with a comfortable 22-point victory for the Houston Rockets.
This was their second consecutive preseason victory against the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA preseason 2020-21. Christian Wood ended the night with 27 points and 10 rebounds, while James Harden registered 20 points, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds. Eric Gordon also had an impressive final preseason game and scored 23 points for the Houston Rockets.
The San Antonio Spurs will be looking to shrug off a dismal preseason campaign, which also saw them lose their first game against the Oklahama City Thunder. DeMar DeRozan scored a team high 21 points as Devin VassVessel chipped in with 18 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists.