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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets lose 118-96 to Nets ending two-game winning streak

POSTED: March 7, 2023 -- 10:53 p.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets lost to Brooklyn Nets 118-96 Tuesday night to end a modest two-game winning streak. Jalen Green scored 25 points to lead Houston. Green made 9 of 21 field goal attempts and 6 of 11 free throws.

The Rockets (15-50) shot the ball well in the opening half 57.5 fg% (23 for 40); however, 11 first-half turnovers helped Brooklyn lead 59-54 at halftime.

"We backtracked again," Green said after the game. "Not playing together. Not moving the ball."

Houston led 32-27 at the end of the first quarter; but, Brooklyn's reserves were red-hot in the second quarter to hit the Rockets with a 21-5 run and lead 48-37 with 6:32 remaining in the quarter.

Brooklyn (37-28) splashed 4 three-pointers in the run to take the lead. The Rockets tied the game at 54; but, the Nets ended the half with 5 points in the final 9.4 seconds to lead at halftime.

The first 5 minutes of the third quarter was slightly different than the first five minutes of the second quarter: the Nets' starters, instead of the reserves, blitzed the Rockets with a 16-3 run to lead 75-57 at the 6:52 mark.

Houston trailed by as much as 20 points in the third quarter; but, the Rockets closed the quarter trailing by 14 (92-78).

Cold shooting in the fourth quarter doomed any chance of a Rockets' comeback. Houston made only 6 of 22 field goals (27.3 fg%) in the fourth and never got closer than 15 in the quarter. Houston trailed by as much as 22 points in the final period.

"Big job by our entire group of just really shrinking the floor and playing together on the defensive end," Jacque Vaughn, Nets' head coach said after the game.

Brooklyn packed the paint and dared Houston to beat them from the perimeter. The Rockets shot 26.9% (7 for 26) from three.

Alperen Sengun said after the game, "If we could make more shots, I could make more passes."

Houston had 14 assists with 19 turnovers. The Nets scored 21 points off the Rockets' turnovers.

Houston had 96 points tonight after scoring a season-high 142 vs. San Antonio on March 5. The Nets have held opponents below 100 points in consecutive games for the first time since a five-game span from November 4 to November 12 and 12 times overall this season (3rd-most in the NBA).


The Rockets' next game is Thursday, March 9, on the road, against the Indiana Pacers. Tip is set for 6 p.m. Central Time.


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