Rockets react to first summer loss, Jalen Green injury, Usman Garuba debut


The Houston Rockets fell to 2-1 in Las Vegas Summer League play with Thursday’s 92-76 loss (box score) to Toronto. But the biggest postgame storyline involved the health of prized rookie Jalen Green.

Green scored 13 points (3-of-5 on 3-pointers) in just 12 minutes, but he left late in the first half with right hamstring soreness. Early indications were that it was precautionary rather than a major injury, though it seems doubtful that the 19-year-old would return quickly for exhibitions.

In Green’s absence, the Rockets didn’t have nearly enough shot creating ability and shot just 33.3% from the field (25.7% on 3-pointers). Rookie guard Josh Christopher scored a team-high 14 points, but he made only 4-of-18 shots (22.2%) from the field and 1-of-9 from 3-point range (11.1%). Rookie big man Alperen Sengun had 9 points and 11 rebounds, but he shot just 3-of-10 (30%) and committed five turnovers.

Fellow first-round rookie Usman Garuba made his summer debut just hours after catching a long plane flight from Spain to the United States. He didn’t score, but grabbed 6 rebounds in 12 minutes.

The Raptors (2-1) were led by Ish Wainright, who had 20 points (58.3% FG), 7 rebounds, and 4 steals in 29 minutes. Big man Precious Achiuwa added 19 points (72.7% FG), 5 rebounds, and 2 blocks in 26 minutes.

Toronto wing Scottie Barnes, who was taken at No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2021 NBA draft (two spots after Green), had 5 blocks in 23 minutes — but the Rockets held him to 2-of-7 shooting (28.6%).

See below for postgame comments from Houston’s locker room on Thursday night. The Rockets return to summer play on Sunday versus No. 5 pick Jalen Suggs and Orlando, with tipoff set for 7:00 p.m. Central.

Related

‘It’s pretty much caution’: Rockets lose Jalen Green to hamstring issue

Usman Garuba makes his NBA debut for summer league Rockets

Will Weaver

https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1426002884114669568 https://twitter.com/SalmanAliNBA/status/1426003128273424384 https://twitter.com/Jonathan_Feigen/status/1426004569998315520 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1426004718162165767

Story continues

Usman Garuba

https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1426006579942408193 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1426006743541325825 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1426007212477009932 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1426009063058456577 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1426009981841772544

Josh Christopher

https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1426011126417051649 https://twitter.com/RenzoTheDon/status/1426011378096148483 https://twitter.com/BigSargeSportz/status/1426016047681900548

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