In ninth straight loss, John Wall frustrated by ‘small ball’ Rockets

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Ben DuBose
·3 min read
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are one of only three NBA teams with a worse record than the Houston Rockets, and they entered Wednesday on the second night of a back-to-back and with 10 losses in their last 11 games.

Even so, it still wasn’t enough for the Rockets (11-19) to end their losing streak, which is now at nine games and the longest for the franchise in more than 20 years. Overall, Houston is 0-9 since Christian Wood’s Feb. 4 ankle injury after going 7-1 in the eight previous games.

With the Rockets suddenly devoid of size after Wood’s injury and the release of DeMarcus Cousins, Cavs center Jarrett Allen (26 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks) towered over PJ Tucker, Jae’Sean Tate, and every Houston frontcourt piece besides Justin Patton. Allen was dominant in Cleveland’s 112-96 victory (box score), shooting 10-of-11 (90.9%).

John Wall led the undersized Rockets with 20 points in defeat.

“Defense wasn’t very good,” head coach Stephen Silas said postgame. “Offense was disjointed. Bad all the way around.”

Wall, a five-time All-Star and the clear team leader, offered more targeted criticism regarding Houston’s sudden lack of size. “We definitely need some type of paint presence,” Wall said from Cleveland.

Veteran guards Victor Oladipo and Eric Gordon each played for the Rockets after being listed as questionable with injuries, but it still wasn’t nearly enough. Oladipo and Gordon scored 17 points apiece, but they shot just 3-of-15 from 3-point range (20.0%). Meanwhile, the Cavaliers shot 16-of-36 on 3-pointers (44.4%), led by 4-of-4 from Dylan Windler.

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The Rockets will finish up a two-game road trip Friday in Tampa, where the Toronto Raptors are playing this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Central. For now, here’s a collection of highlights and postgame reaction from Cleveland.


Rockets release schedule for second half of 2020-21 season

Rockets opening up roster spot with release of DeMarcus Cousins

Stephen Silas

John Wall

Victor Oladipo