The team allowed 47 points in the second quarter and trailed by more than 20 at halftime.
During halftime, there was a “spirited debate” according to Stephen Silas in the locker room, which led to Kevin Porter Jr. not returning to the game and leaving the arena during the team’s 124-111 loss, per ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. lost his temper during a heated halftime discussion and didn’t return to the court, leaving the Toyota Center during the second half of tonight's loss to the Nuggets, sources told @wojespn and me.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) January 2, 2022
ESPN story coming soon.
Acoording to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Rockets assistant John Lucas called out Porter Jr. and Christian Wood for their performances. Porter Jr. then threw an object and left the Toyota Center, while Wood neglected to sub himself into the second half after playing eight minutes in the first half.
Sources: After Rockets assistant John Lucas called out multiple players including Kevin Porter Jr. and Christian Wood at halftime tonight vs. Nuggets, Porter had a heated exchange with Lucas, threw an object and promptly left the arena – and Wood refused to sub into second half.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 2, 2022
Wood came off the bench for “breaking a team rule” according to Silas, then said that him not playing in the second half was a “coach’s decision.” It was later confirmed that Wood started the game on the bench after missing a COVID-19 test.
Christian Wood broke a team so he did not start. Silas said Wood did not play in the second half because of a "coach's decision."— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) January 2, 2022
Sources: Wood was benched to start the loss to Denver after missing a mandatory COVID-19 testing window. Lucas called out entire team at halftime, and focused on Wood's effort level. Porter had a heated exchange with the longtime assistant, and drove out of arena at halftime. https://t.co/24oAwV2GqC— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) January 2, 2022
Tonight, the Rockets lost their seventh consecutive game to bring their record to 10-27. It’s been a frustrating season and it seems things started to come to a boil.
It’s uncertain as to whether Wood and KPJ will be disciplined further or when they will return to the team.
The Dream Shake will keep you updated on this developing story.