In the final exhibition for both teams, big man Christian Wood paced the Houston Rockets (1-3) with 19 points (50% FG) and 19 rebounds in Friday’s 126-98 loss (box score) at San Antonio. Guards Dejounte Murray and Derrick White led the Spurs (3-2) with 20 points apiece.
Veteran guard Eric Gordon (sore left ankle) and center Daniel Theis (rest) did not play for the Rockets. But with those exceptions, Houston head coach Stephen Silas generally followed through on his plan to treat Friday as a dress rehearsal, with most minutes given to players who could be in the rotation when regular-season games begin next week.
Unfortunately, even with potential rotation players in the mix, the Rockets did not shoot nearly well enough to make Friday’s road game competitive. Houston shot just 6-of-33 from 3-point range, including a combined 2-of-11 (18.2%) by the young starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. (16 points, 4 assists) and rookie guard Jalen Green (16 points).
Since Theis was unavailable, rookie big man Alperen Sengun made his first preseason start and was a clear bright spot in San Antonio with 15 points (45.5% FG), 12 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 25 minutes.
“I liked him,” Silas said of Sengun, who had some success playing alongside Wood in a dual-big lineup. “He did a good job. He rebounded the ball well. He had the ball in the high post and could make plays for his teammates. He’s inexperienced, and that showed some. But he’s 19.”
With preseason now in the books, Houston opens its 2021-22 regular season next Wednesday at Minnesota. Tipoff is set for 7:00 p.m. Central.