The Houston Rockets were able to hang tough when they were down big to the Phoenix Suns, using a big 36-point fourth quarter to overcome a 16-point defecit, and they also blew a six-point lead themselves in the closing minutes only to survive four straight missed shots on the final possession by the Suns to go home with a 122-121 upset victory.
Houston was led by Jalen Green, who finished with 30 points by essentially getting to the rim and line at will, shooting 12-for-16 on free throws, while Jabari Smith Jr. finished with 17 points, 6 boards, a steal and a block on 7-for-12 from the field for one of his most efficient and aggressive games of the season.
Kevin Porter Jr. and 15 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists, including a huge bucket down the stretch for the Rockets, and Bruno Fernando scored 14 points off of the bench serving as the lob threat this team was after and shooting 7-for-8 from the field. He played 14 minutes of action, while starter Alperen Sengun played 24 minutes, putting up 13 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and a block on 5-for-7 shooting. Tari Eason had 9 points and 5 boards off of the bench.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 41 points on 15-for-25 shooting, but he missed a 20-foot jumper at the buzzer that would have tied it for the Suns, and Phoenix shot 53 percent from the field overall as a team, but the Rockets overcame with free throw shooting, forcing 17 turnovers and a 62-40 advantage in points in the paint.
Make no mistake, this was a big win for this young and growing Rockets team, particularly on the road and coming off of a bad loss against the Denver Nuggets two nights ago.
Houston is staying out west, as they head up to northern California tonight for the second game of a back-to-back with a tough matchup with the Golden State Warriors. That might be a bridge too far on the road B2B, but this group of youngsters continues to make progress, and the Dubs are just 12-11 this season, so you never know. Go Rockets!