Turnovers plague Rockets, Kevin Porter Jr. in season-opening loss to Minnesota

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For those who only took a quick glance at the box score from Houston’s season-opening loss at Minnesota on Wednesday, some may have thought that the Rockets played a relatively competitive game, with a handful of miscues potentially costing them a chance to win.

Those who watched the game, however, know it was even worse than the 18-point margin might initially suggest on paper.

Houston (0-1) committed a game-high 24 turnovers on Wednesday, led by 9 from starting point guard Kevin Porter Jr., and trailed by as many as 35 points in the 124-106 loss to Minnesota. The Rockets also collapsed defensively in the second quarter and allowed 40 points to the Timberwolves (1-0), including a 32-14 run to end the first half.

“It was two things; it was the turnovers that led to their fast breaks and their threes (3-pointers) in transition, and it was the offensive rebounding,” Rockets head coach Stephen Silas said postgame. “We had 12 defensive rebounds in the first half, and they had 12 offensive rebounds in the first half. Those are the two main issues, especially in the second quarter, that broke the game open for them.”

Minnesota took a 72-45 lead into halftime and increased it to 92-59 midway through the third quarter. Two-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns and guard Anthony Edwards used their physicality to their advantage by bullying Houston’s younger players for much of the game before being removed in the fourth quarter — with the game well out of reach.

“I think I told you guys earlier today that the physicality was going to be an issue,” Silas reiterated. “I think their physicality, their intentions, and their aggression led to some turnovers we had earlier in the game.”

Rookie Jalen Green, who made his rookie debut on Wednesday, also talked about how physical the Timberwolves players were in the game.

“I feel like everyone has been trying to bump me because I am a rookie,” said Green, who finished the game with 9 points and 4 assists.

Houston is hoping for better results on Friday, when the Rockets host Oklahoma City (0-1) in the home opener at Toyota Center.

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