Instead, it was simply a quiet, calm, well-executed but slightly boring game. A large part of this was simply due to the lack of star talent. The Warriors Jacob Evans, who was drafted 28th overall, was the highest pick from this year’s draft playing in the game.
Damian Jones, who flew back to the Bay Area to have a knee injury examined, did not play. Jordan Bell played, but only for a few short spells, and with minimal energy. Houston had no hot prospects from this year, or prior years.
So from that standpoint, there wasn’t too much going on. But there was some good basketball.
Golden State jumped out to an early lead, and thanks in large part to a strong defensive showing, they held a 25-13 advantage after the first quarter. Houston finally took the lid off the basket in the second quarter, but the Warriors still led 50-41 at the half.
Even though the team has barely any relation to the Golden State squad we’ll see in October, there’s still Warriors DNA in them, so naturally it was a good third quarter. The Warriors had a hard time scoring, but shut down Houston, and took a 15-point lead into the final frame.
But once there the dynamic of the game shifted. Houston started to make stops, and get good looks. The energy picked up. The lead dissipated, disappeared, and turned into a deficit. But the Warriors fought right back, and the game came down to the wire. But the Warriors couldn’t get a bucket in the waning moments, and fell 87-81.
The outcome doesn’t really matter, so the most exciting part of the game (for the Warriors) was the play of undrafted free agent Marcus Derrickson. Derrickson appears in line for a two-way contract, and put everything on display against the Rockets. He showed an ability to score efficiently, to defend multiple positions, and to get out in transition.
Derrickson finished the contest with 23 points on 14 shots, to go along with 7 rebounds. The Warriors have to be thrilled with what they’re seeing from him, and what he could bring to them during the season.
Golden State is now 4-1 in the summer, and 1-1 in the Las Vegas Summer League. If that bums you out, then watch these highlights!
Jordan Bell with the slam! pic.twitter.com/dCjH6awfrf— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) July 9, 2018
Golden State next plays on Monday, July 9, at 4:30 p.m. PT against the Dallas Mavericks.