HOUSTON — The future of Christian Wood has been one of the hottest topics surrounding the Houston Rockets throughout the 2021-22 campaign. But if general manager Rafael Stone had any questions himself, Wood’s performance Friday night should have been enough to cease all doubts.
Wood had arguably his best performance as a Rocket by scoring a game-high 32 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field, and he connected on four out of his six attempts from behind the arc.
In addition to his scoring, Wood had the best all-around performance of his career. He pulled down 13 rebounds and came three assists shy from his first career triple-double by recording seven dimes.
Wood’s play was not enough as the Rockets sustained a 121-118 loss to the Indiana Pacers inside the Toyota Center. With the loss, the Rockets extended their losing streak to four while falling to 17-53 on the season.
If not for an early injury scare to his lower right leg, Kevin Porter Jr. may have added to his never-ending highlight reel since joining the Rockets in January of 2021.
Porter got off to a hot start against the Pacers. He scored seven of his 19 points in the first quarter. But it was clear that the awkward fall Porter sustained during the period hampered his on-court production.
Porter provided the Rockets with a solid performance despite the minor injury. But Alperen Sengun gave Wood the most significant help. Sengun came off the bench and added 15 points and five rebounds in the loss.
Jalen Green had a slow start to the night. But after he opened the game with eight points in the first two quarters, Green finished the night with 20 in the loss.
Houston held a 95-83 lead over the Pacers entering the fourth quarter, but the Rockets gave up 38 points in the final period.
The Rockets had no answer for the Pacers on the inside, as they gave up 62 points in the paint. Malcolm Brogdon led the way for the Pacers with a team-high 25 points. Pacers’ big man Goga Bitadze added 23 points in the win. Indiana’s other center Jalen Smith contributed off the bench with 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
After the disappointing defeat, the Rockets will return to action on Sunday for a home matinee showdown against the 48-23 Memphis Grizzlies. Tip-off is slated for 2:30 P.M. CT.