Well, the Houston Rockets are officially improving. After defeating the Charlotte Hornets 112-109 on Friday night, the Rockets now have 21 wins on the year, or one more than last season’s 20-win squad. Minor signs of life are showing in this young lineup as the season draw to a close.
Houston was led by Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. on the night. Porter finished with 26 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals on 7-for-13 from the field and 2-for-5 from deep. Green also tallied 26 points to go along with with 3 rebounds, 6 assists and a steal, though he was a little bit less efficient, going 9-for-22 from the field and 3-for-from downtown.
The Rockets actually played some decent defense in this one, which has been an issue for them all season. But Houston held Charlotte to just 43.2 percent shooting from the field and forced 17 total turnovers. That helped Houston carry a double-digit lead into the fourth where they were able to hold on for the victory.
All five Rockets starters were in double figures in this one. To complement Green and Porter, Alperen Sengun had 14 points and a huge 21 rebounds, which is a new career high for for the Turk. He also had 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.
KJ Martin had 14 points on 7-for-10 from the floor. He also added 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Jabari Smith Jr. had 13 points and just 2 boards on 6-for-11 shooting, but he did have 3 blocked shots on the defensive end.
The Hornerts were led by Theo Maledon, who had 22 points and 8 assists, while Svi Mykhailiuk had 25 points and 6 assists.
The Rockets have one final game on Sunday against the Washington Wizards before the offseason discussions can start in earnest.