HOUSTON — Rookie Jalen Green scored a career-high 32 factors, together with 10 in extra time, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the slumping Los Angeles Lakers for a 139-130 win Wednesday night time.
“That was so much fun and exciting and great for a packed house to see us play like that,” coach Stephen Silas mentioned. “And also great for our team to respond to the adversity, get down and come back out fighting.”
The Rockets, who’ve the worst file within the Western Conference, withstood a triple-double from LeBron James and 30 factors from Russell Westbrook to get simply their second win in 15 video games.
“We have a really small margin of error this season and teams are making us pay,” James mentioned.
The loss is the ninth straight on the highway for the Lakers, who’ve dropped six of their final seven video games and are working out of time to get issues collectively earlier than the playoffs start.
“It is hard losing when you’re pouring everything you have into it and trying to get traction for this group,” coach Frank Vogel mentioned. “But we’ve got resolve and this is a tough stretch we have to fight through.”
Green, the second total choose within the draft, opened extra time with a layup earlier than including a 3-pointer after which swishing a hook shot quickly after that to make it 127-120. Eric Gordon added a 3-pointer to push the result in 10 earlier than the Lakers lastly scored within the additional interval on a basket by Westbrook with 2 1/2 minutes to go.
But the Rockets used a 6-3 run with 3s from Kenyon Martin Jr. and Green round a 3 from James to increase the result in 136-125 with a minute left in OT and seal the victory.
“We had too many defensive breakdowns throughout the game,” Vogel mentioned. “Our guys fought but it just wasn’t enough.”
Green was requested about his huge night time.
“It felt good,” he mentioned. “They kept feeding me. Told me to keep attacking until they stop me. So that’s what I did. The basket felt super big tonight.”
James had 23 factors, 14 rebounds and a season-high 12 assists for his fifth triple-double of the season. But his career-long streak of consecutive video games with 25 factors ended at 23 video games on an evening he was 9 of 26 total and made simply 1 of 9 3-pointers.
“I missed a lot of shots that I know I’m capable of making, have made throughout the course of the season and my career,” he mentioned. “Shots just weren’t falling for me tonight.”
It was his first recreation since scoring a season-high 56 factors Saturday night time after he sat out Monday at San Antonio with a sore left knee.
Rookie Alperen Sengun set career-highs with 21 factors and 15 rebounds and fellow rookie Josh Christopher added 21 factors off the bench to assist the Rockets to the win.
Silas spoke of development of Green and Christopher, who’re 20 years previous, and the 19-year-old Sengun after their performances Wednesday night time.
“It means a lot,” he mentioned. “It means that they’re learning the importance of the work and sticking with it and fighting through the hard times and finding success at the end of the rainbow when the lights are the brightest.”
A soar shot by Westbrook tied it at 120-all with a minute to go however he missed a shot a couple of seconds later to offer Houston the ball again.
Green missed a layup underneath heavy strain from James to offer the Lakers one other shot to take the lead.
James missed an off-balance shot within the lane with 17 seconds left however officers dominated that Houston knocked the ball out of bounds whereas vying for the rebound. The Rockets challenged the decision, but it surely was upheld.
James drove into the lane and dished to Carmelo Anthony within the nook for the ultimate shot of regulation, however his 3-point try was off to ship it to OT.
A 5-2 spurt by the Rockets within the fourth tied it up, however James drove into the lane and completed with a monster, one-handed dunk to place the Lakers up 113-111 with 5 ½ minutes to go.
Los Angeles trailed by 1 with about three minutes left when James made 1 of two free throws to make it 118-116.
Green scored 4 fast factors to offer the Rockets a 120-118 lead with about two minutes left. He made two free throws after which grabbed a rebound on the opposite finish and completed with a jumper to place Houston on high.