The Houston Rockets were down the vast majority of the night to the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, they hung tough and battled back, not getting their first lead until late in the fourth quarter, but they closed it out down the stretch for a 114-110 victory, despite several setbacks tonight with injuries.
The Rockets, who were already down Jalen Green who’s been out with a hamstring injury, also lost Christian Wood to an ankle injury and Kevin Porter Jr. to a thigh injury. Porter and Wood played a combined 22 minutes tonight.
However, it was Jae’Sean Tate who stepped up to the tune of a career-high 32 points, to go along with 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 steals, and 5 blocks on 11-15 shooting from the floor and 1-2 from beyond the arc. He scored 13 of his points in a clutch fourth quarter, including a bucket with 15 seconds left that helped to put the game away. It was Tate’s best all-around game of his career.
In addition, the Rockets also got 18 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 blocks from Armoni Brooks, including 7-10 shooting from the field and 4-7 from the deep. They also got 14 points on 4-7 deep shooting from Garrison Matthews, Kenyon Martin Jr. pitched in 12 points and 4 boards in just 18 minutes of action, while Josh Christopher had 10 points and 5 boards in 13 minutes off of the bench.
It was a gutsy performance by the Rockets, who turned the ball over 18 times, 10 in the first half, and looked for most of the night like they were gonna fall in this one. But they ended up with their fourth straight win and third victory over the Thunder this season with some perseverance.
As for OKC, they were led by Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who went off for 39 points and 4 rebounds, and they also got 19 from Luguentz Dortz, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the Houston comeback, despite OKC holding a 15-point lead at one point.
Houston now moves to 5-16 on the season, but who knows what the injury gods have in store for Wood and Porter. Wood attempted to return, but was obviously hobbled and went back out, while the Porter injury apparently is a bad thigh contusion, and it sounds like both might miss some time. Could this be a window for the return of John Wall, especially with Jalen Green still out?
The Rockets return to action Friday night against the Orlando Magic, and I’m sure we’ll have updates for you on everything before then.