ROCKETS 115, GRIZZLIES 103

John Wall and Jae'Sean Tate lead Rockets to dominating victory over Grizzlies

John Wall and Jae'Sean Tate lead Rockets to dominating victory over Grizzlies
The Rockets suffered a big loss despite getting the win. Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images

The Houston Rockets showed their complete dominance defensively Thursday night versus the Memphis Grizzlies as they won 115-103. No player for the Grizzlies scored over 16 points against the Rockets' defense. John Wall and Jae'Sean Tate stood out the most in the Rockets' win. The saddest part of the night was Christian Wood's ankle injury, which became heartbreaking.

On Wednesday night, the Rockets were defeated by the Oklahoma City Thunder in a blown-out fashion. John Wall did not play because of the passing of his grandmother. The Rockets lacked energy against the Thunder. Wall understood his leadership, guidance, and presence was clearly missing in Wednesday night's loss. In Thursday's victory, Wall had a plus 34 from the field. Wall's misdirection and ability to attack the paint created open opportunities for his teammates. He created pressure on the Grizzlies interior defense, so the Rockets had open shooters on the perimeter. The Rockets shot 42% from the three-point line, including Wall shooting 44% too. Wall increased the Rockets offensive rating from 80.6 to 117.6 against the Grizzlies within two nights.

"It makes it immensely easier," as Coach Silas mentioned on Wall's game. "He has a great feel for the game. He has great feel for the point guard position as far as who needs [a] shot. Attacking defenses and defenders that might not be able to guard him. When you have your leader on the floor it makes every one's job easier."

Wall loves directing the offense, so everyone is involved in different actions and accumulated inside the set. He has become great at catching the defense off guard. Those eight assists came from finding the right teammate in position. Wall finished with 22 points by only taking six shots.

"He [John Wall] sees stuff a lot of people don't see and that's why he is one of the best point guards in the league," as Jae'Sean Tate gave Wall praise. "He is such tough cover because he is so fast and knows how to manipulate the defense to get what we need."

Speaking of Tate, his night was fantastic against the Grizzlies as he took advantage of the creases in their defense. Tate became effective by taking open shots, being aggressive in the paint, and setting quality screens. He even showed his ability to cut towards the basket. Tate's IQ is impressive for a 25-year-old rookie. He shot 77% from the field and had 19 points in Thursday night's game. Tate became sneaky inside the Grizzlies painted area by being 4/4 in the restricted area. Hopefully, Tate climbs the poll of Rookie of the Year candidacy.

"It's about me being comfortable out there," as Tate mentioned to the media. "Just getting more used to the pace of the game and learning how to read the game. The vets are helping me dissect [the] game."

The Rockets' defense did a tremendous job of slowing down the number one bench in the NBA. In the beginning of the game, the Rockets did have a problem slowing down the Grizzlies transition offense. The Rockets' biggest objective was getting back on defense as the Grizzlies were ferocious with their fast break points. As the Rockets eventually got set on defense, the Grizzlies struggled from the field. The Grizzlies shot the three-ball at 34.3%, as the Rockets caused contested attempts. Although the Grizzlies finished with 11 offensive rebounds, only seven of those rebounds came from the first quarter. Houston's defensive rating was a 105.1 versus the Memphis.

"I feel like if we can get back in transition and get our defense set, we can really defend and make it hard on teams. Versatility is key in our defense," as coach Silas praised their defensive performance.

The Rockets eventually went on an 18-4 run late in the second quarter, which helped the second-best defense control the game. It's incredible how the Rockets have the second-best defense in the league as they are right behind the Los Angeles Lakers.

Up next: Hopefully, the Rockets maintain their play as they take on the San Antonio Spurs Saturday night.

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Astros defeat the Orioles, 5-1. Composite Getty Image.

Ronel Blanco pitched seven strong innings and Chas McCormick homered twice to lead the Houston Astros to a 5-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday.

Yordan Alvarez added a two-run shot to help Houston extend its winning streak to four games.

Blanco (8-2), who threw seven hitless innings in his last start, allowed four hits and a run with three strikeouts for his third straight win.

Alvarez put the Astros on top with his 16th homer, which came off Corbin Burnes (8-3) in the third, and McCormick made it 4-1 in the fifth. McCormick got his fifth career multihomer game when he connected again in the eighth.

Burnes allowed five hits, including a season-high two homers and a season-most four runs in seven innings to snap his career-best streak of 10 consecutive quality starts. He was 5-0 in seven starts since a loss at Washington on May 7.

Jordan Westburg homered in the second for the Orioles, who set a franchise record with 21 straight games with a home run to surpass the 1998 squad's 20-game streak.

Baltimore had troubled stringing hits together Saturday after scoring 28 runs combined in the last two games. The top four batters in their order combined to go 1 for 13 against Blanco and Houston's bullpen.

Ryan Pressly threw a scoreless eighth before Josh Hader struck out two in a perfect ninth to end it.

Westburg connected off Blanco with one out in the second to put the Orioles up 1-0.

Yainer Diaz opened Houston’s second with a triple on a line drive to right field. The Astros tied it when he scored on a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón with one out.

McCormick singled with no outs in the third and the shot to center field by Alvarez came with two outs to put Houston on top 3-1.

McCormick’s home run to the seats in left field extended the lead to 4-1 with one out in the fifth.

Cedric Mullins tripled off the wall in center with one out in the seventh. Colton Cowser hit a sharp line drive, but was robbed of a hit when shortstop Jeremy Peña made a leaping catch for the second out. Blanco then retired Ramón Urías to end the inning and leave Mullins stranded.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Jake Bloss, who made his major league debut Friday night, was placed on the injured list with right shoulder discomfort.

ROSTER MOVES

Astros: RHP Nick Hernandez was optioned to Triple-A Sugar Land on Friday night. ... LHP Bryan King was selected to the MLB roster and RHP Luis Contreras was recalled from Sugar Land on Saturday. … RHP Alex Speas was designated for assignment.

UP NEXT

Houston LHP Framber Valdez (5-5, 3.91 ERA) opposes RHP Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) in the series finale Sunday.

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