Takeaways: Jabari Smith Jr. earns first double-double in loss to Portland

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Prized rookie Jabari Smith Jr. continued his run of strong summer league play with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Houston Rockets, but it wasn’t enough to offset a cold shooting night for the team in Thursday’s 80-72 (box score) loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in Las Vegas.

The Rockets were short-handed on offense after shutting down leading scorer Josh Christopher (right hip soreness), and it showed with just 47 points over the final three quarters of Thursday’s game, combined. Houston made just 7-of-38 shots from behind the 3-point arc (18.4%).

Smith connected on 7-of-13 shots overall (53.8%), though he was 7-of-8 on two-point shots (87.5%) and 0-of-5 on 3-pointers. Fellow rookie Tari Eason had 17 points and 7 rebounds, though he shot just 7-of-19 (36.8%). With Christopher out, the new starting backcourt of Daishen Nix and TyTy Washington combined to shoot just 6-of-19 (31.6%).

In defeating Houston (2-2), the Trail Blazers (3-1) were led by 23 points from second-year guard Keon Johnson, who shot 8-of-13 from the field (61.5%) and made 4-of-8 from 3-point range (50.0%).

We’ll have more coverage in the days ahead as the Rockets gear up for a final summer league game on Saturday night (schedule) versus the Sacramento Kings. For now, here’s a look at Thursday’s highlights and immediate reaction by players, coaches, media members, and fans.

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Highlights

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