HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green scored a career-high 42 points as the Houston Rockets snapped their 13th straight loss in a 119-114 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night.
Green, the No. 2 pick in the 2021 Draft, had 21 points by halftime and continued to play strongly in the second half, leading the Rockets to their first victory since December 26 against Chicago. They ended their longest skid of the season, ended a 10-game home losing streak, and won at home for the first time since December 13 against Phoenix.
Green bounced back after taking 3-of-13 shooting and scoring 10 points in Saturday night’s loss to the Timberwolves.
Coach Stephen Cyrus could see Green’s drive perform better from the start Monday night.
“He was ready for tonight,” said Cyrus. “It’s time for us to sit back and play a 48-minute focused game. He was the leader tonight.”
Green said he was “a little bit over his head” after Saturday’s bad game, but was determined to turn things around. was excited.
“It feels good,” he said. “The players turned to me, the coaches turned to me. We needed it. We wanted it. We came out and executed.”
Anthony Edwards scored 31 points and D’Angelo Russell scored a season-high 30 points for the Timberwolves, who won their second straight.
“You’re what you do repeatedly,” said Minnesota coach Chris Finch. We have, but we just didn’t have enough players to play well.”
Rookie Tari Eason has spoken out about Houston’s mindset going into Monday’s game.
Eason said, “I told my team before the game, just be desperate. “And I think that’s what we did tonight. Everyone played desperately. Everyone wagged their tails.” rice field.
The Rockets were clinging to a one-point lead, but Green scored the next five points to make it 105-99 with two minutes left capped at three-pointers.
Edwards made the second of two free throws before Green shot again, knocking down a long two-pointer to put Houston ahead 107-100 with 90 seconds remaining.
Kenyon Martin Jr. then stole the ball from D’Angelo Russell and extended the lead to nine with a dunk with less than a minute remaining.
Edwards then made a 3 for Minnesota, but Green hit a 3-pointer seconds after Houston to make it 112-103 with 41 seconds remaining. Minnesota closed within four with 12 seconds remaining, but Green answered with a free throw.
Green hit a 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter to put Houston ahead 90-81. The Timberwolves used his 8-0 run that scored him five points from Russell to cut the lead to 92-89 with about nine minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Houston led 81–74 with a 7–0 run on Garrison Matthews’ 3 with less than four minutes left in the third quarter.
Austin Rivers gave Minnesota a 3 two seconds later, but the Rockets scored the next six points to make it 87-77 with about two minutes left in the quarter.
Timberwolves: Taulian Prince out with sprained left ankle. … Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 16 rebounds after missing three games with a sore right groin.
Rockets: Rookie Jabari Smith Jr. out two straight games with right ankle sprain. … Kevin Porter Jr. missed six straight games with a contusion in his left foot. … Alperensengan He tallied 21 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Houston, who finished with the worst records in the NBA in each of the last two seasons, are the worst team in the league this season, going 11-36. Cyrus hopes matches like this are proof that his team is improving despite its record.
“We are certainly a work in progress,” he said. “We still made mistakes..but we played through them tonight. That’s what matters.”
Timberwolves: Visit New Orleans Wednesday night.
The Rockets: Host Washington Wednesday Night.
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