The Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets will square off in Thursday’s NBA Summer League games.
The Trail Blazers opened their account with a loss but have won their last two straight games. They beat the New York Knicks 88-77 in their previous outing.
Meanwhile, the Rockets are also 2-1 in three games and have won consecutive games prior to this contest. They beat the San Antonio Spurs 97-84 in their last game.
Game – Portland Trail Blazers vs. Houston Rockets | 2022 NBA Summer League
Date and hour – Thursday July 14, 2022; 9:30 p.m. ET (Friday, July 15; 7 a.m. IST)
Venue – Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV.
Portland Trail Blazers Preview
The Portland Trail Blazers made a comeback in their previous outing against the New York Knicks. They trailed by 15 points at the end of the first period but came on at halftime, taking a one-point lead. They beat the Knicks 28-12 in the second quarter, which set the tone for the rest of the game.
Trendon Watford and Jabari Walker continued their fine form, collecting a combined 34 points on 12 of 19 shots. Five players finished the match with double-digit scores. The Trail Blazers shot 48% from the ground, including 41% from the arc.
They also had a 49-30 rebounding advantage against the Knicks. The Portland Trail Blazers will have to maintain those numbers against the Houston Rockets.
Key Player – Trendon Watford
Trendon Watford delivered strong performances for the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA Summer League. The forward averaged 14 points and 7.7 rebounds per game over three games. He will face Jabari Smith Jr. when Portland takes on Houston.
Smith had a rebound game in his last outing, so limiting him will be vital to the Trail Blazers’ hopes of earning that tie.
Portland Trail Blazers predicted roster
g -Brandon Williams | g – Keon Johnson | F -Greg Brown III | F – Trendon Watford | VS -Luka Garza.
Houston Rockets preview
The Houston Rockets picked up a stellar win over the San Antonio Spurs in their previous outing. Jabari Smith Jr. recorded his best game, totaling 19 points, nine rebounds and two steals, shooting 50% from the floor.
Meanwhile, the Rockets’ Summer League breakout Tari Eason has improved her consistent performance. He bagged a team-high 22 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and blocks apiece, shooting 56 percent from the floor. Josh Christopher continued his strong performance, scoring 18 points and setting a team-high four steals.
The Rockets will miss Christopher’s services against the Trail Blazers. He injured his hip and will be out for the rest of the tournament. Nonetheless, Smith and Eason have been in excellent form and should be able to guide Houston to victory in Christopher’s absence.
Key player – Jabari Smith Jr.
Jabari Smith Jr. took his time settling in with the Houston Rockets. Smith averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds, shooting 36 percent from the floor. He struggled with his shot but looked great against Spurs. Smith will be crucial to the Rockets’ chances of victory on Thursday, especially without Josh Christopher.
The No. 3 pick in the draft dominated defensively but must maintain his offensive numbers and shooting efficiency to make a difference.
Scheduled Houston Rockets Lineup
g – Ty Ty Washington Jr. | g -Daishen Nix | F – Tari Eason | F – Jabari Smith Jr | VS – Usman Garuba.
Trail Blazers vs Rockets Match Prediction
The Portland Trail Blazers and Houston Rockets both got off to a slow start. The Trail Blazers quickly gained momentum thereafter, while the Rockets took their time finding their groove. The Trail Blazers could be the fringe favorites for this game. They may also have the upper hand due to the absence of Josh Christopher for the Rockets.
Where to watch Trail Blazers vs. Rockets
The NBA 2K23 Summer League game between the Houston Rockets and the Portland Trail Blazers will be televised nationally on NBA TV. Fans can also stream the game online via NBA League Pass.