HOUSTON — After trailing by as many as 14 points midway through the first half, the Houston Rockets found their niche in the third quarter. Kevin Porter Jr. led the way for the Rockets with 19 points in the period, as Houston outscored the Memphis Grizzlies 40-30 during the third quarter.
Behind Porter’s scoring outburst, the Rockets took home a 123-112 victory over the Grizzlies on Sunday. With the win, the Rockets ended a 12-game losing streak en route to their second victory in 19 attempts inside the Toyota Center. Porter finished the night with a game-high 29 points connecting on eight out of his 17 shot attempts.
Following Porter’s third-quarter performance, Houston’s win over Memphis gave a glimpse into how special the Rockets’ young core can be in the future.
Christian Wood finished the night with 28 points and 13 rebounds — his 29th double-double of the season. Jalen Green — who came into the game averaging 21.7 points over his last three games — attributed 24 points in the win.
Despite recording a nine-point victory, Houston’s win over the third-best team in the western conference did not come easy. The Rockets’ gave up 72 points in the paint, as Houston’s inability to keep the Grizzlies from dominating from the inside resulted in Steven Adams scoring a season-high 23 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
In addition to Houston’s early struggles defending the paint against Memphis, turnovers played a significant role in the Rockets slow start. Houston committed 14 turnovers during the first half, which resulted in the Rockets trailing 62-52 at the half.
Desmond Bane led the way for the Grizzlies with 28 points shooting 11-for-22 on the night. MVP candidate Ja Morant finished the game with 22 points, shooting an inefficient 35 percent from the field.
After the win, the 16-48 Rockets will travel to South Beach for an interconference match against the 43-22 Miami Heat. Tip-off is set for 6 P.M. CT inside the FTX Arena.