Whitmore, Sengun Lead Rockets To 135-106 Blowout Win vs. Raptors

Cam Whitmore, Houston Rockets, NBA News, Toronto Raptors
Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets, led by rookie sensation Cam Whitmore’s season-best 25 points and Alperen Sengun’s impressive 24 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists over three quarters, overwhelmed the Toronto Raptors with a 135-106 victory during Friday’s NBA action.

The Rockets maintained a double-digit lead throughout the contest, expanding their advantage to 30 points by the end of the third quarter. This significant lead allowed head coach Ime Udoka the luxury of resting his starting lineup for the final quarter.

“I never really questioned their talent level,” Udoka said. “I think for those guys it’s just the opportunity. I’m happy to see them taking advantage of it.”

Udoka highlighted the team’s strategic focus on quick transitions and capitalizing on defensive stops, a tactic that has proven successful in recent games.

“They’re a team that wants to get out in transition but can get hurt on the other end,” Udoka said. “When we got stops and got out and ran the last few games, it’s been a recipe for success.”

Rookie Amen Thompson, selected fourth in the 2023 draft, also stood out with a season-best 19 points, earning praise from Udoka for seizing the opportunities presented to him.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Cam Whitmore, Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors Updates

The Raptors, struggling with their sixth loss in seven games, were led by Scottie Barnes with 28 points and Immanuel Quickley with 25 points. Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic saw the game as a valuable learning opportunity and emphasized the need for team cohesion to counteract Houston’s athleticism and penetration ability.

“Hopefully, this film from tonight is going to be a really good film for us to study and to learn from,” Rajakovic said. “Hopefully, next game is going to be much better.”

A notable moment came in the third quarter when the Raptors cut the deficit to 15 points, only for Houston to respond with a decisive 16-point run, effectively sealing the game. Houston’s offense was particularly effective in the paint, setting a season-high against Toronto for points in that area.

NBA NEWS & SCORES: Cam Whitmore, Alperen Sengun, Houston Rockets, Fred VanVleet, Toronto Raptors Updates

Fred VanVleet, facing his former team for the first time since leaving the Raptors, contributed 10 points and six assists for Houston, remarking on the novelty of the matchup due to the changes in Toronto’s lineup.

“It was weird, but it was kind of playing like a new team,” VanVleet said. “It wasn’t really like playing against a former team.”

The game also featured a memorable moment late in the fourth quarter with the crowd-pleasing entry of Boban Marjanovic, who was greeted with cheers and applause for his scoring efforts.

Looking ahead, the Raptors aim to bounce back against the Oklahoma City Thunder, while the Rockets look to carry their momentum into their next game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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