The Houston Rockets head into the Christmas break on high a note following their second straight win, a 106-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on the road. It was a back-and-forth, physical contest in which no team led by more than 7 points, and the difference was a career night by Alperen Sengun.
The big man went off for 37 points, 11 rebounds and 6 asists on 11-for-21 from the field and 14-for-17 from the line. It was a career-high in points for Alpie.
Alperen Sengun went OFF in the Rockets W— NBA (@NBA) December 24, 2023
37 PTS (career-high)
6 AST pic.twitter.com/dbu942k3G4
In addition, Houston got another huge night from it’s other frontline player, with Jabari Smith Jr. adding 26 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists on 10-for-14 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Over his last three games, Smith is averaging 27 points, 10.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks while shooting 63 percent from the field and and 60 percent from deep. Seeing him rise up over people is truly a thing of beauty. Anyone think ‘Bari is finally figuring it out? As it stands, Sengun and Smith are clearly Houston’s two best young players and the future appears in bright hands.
Jalen Green put up another stinker, scoring just 9 points and committing 6 turnovers in just 22 minutes of action. He sat for the final 18 minutes of the game, and the Rockets closed out the victory with the former number two pick riding the pine. James talked about Green earlier in the week, so we’re not going to keep beating a dead horse, but needless to say, we’re a little worried about him. Though it is good to see Ime Udoka playing those who deserve to be played.
The Pels were led by Zion Williamson, who finished with 28 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals, and the also got 19 points from Brandon Ingram, but the Rockets mostly un-muscled New Orleans, and Houston picked up their third road win of the season to head into the holidays with a 15-12 record, good enough for eighth in the Western Conference.
Houston’s off until Tuesday, and we mostly will be too, but Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at The Dream Shake!