Jalen Green scored a game-high 26 points while Kevin Porter Jr. chipped in 18 as the Houston Rockets extended their home winning streak to five games with a 111-97 victory over the short-handed Phoenix Suns on Tuesday, December 13 (Wednesday, December 14, Manila time).
Green and Porter combined for 12 rebounds and 8 assists while Alperen Sengun posted a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who followed a one-point victory in Phoenix 11 days ago with a wire-to-wire victory against a Suns squad missing starters Cam Johnson (knee) and Devin Booker (hamstring).
The Suns also lost Deandre Ayton (ankle) at halftime and reserve guard Cameron Payne (foot) after he scored 9 first-half points.
The Suns, who shot 32% en route to their fifth consecutive loss, were paced by Chris Paul (16 points and 7 assists). Mikal Bridges led Phoenix with 18 points but missed 20-of-24 shots.
KJ Martin and Porter drilled consecutive three-pointers midway through the third quarter to give Houston its largest lead, 78-55. The Suns clawed to within 11 points multiple times in the fourth quarter but could not get over the hump with so many players sidelined.
The Suns’ woeful shooting was present from the start as Houston jumped to a 7-0 lead before Phoenix called timeout with 9:26 left in the first quarter. Payne drilled consecutive triples that enabled the Suns to cut a 10-point deficit to 22-18, but after Payne sank another three that maintained that four-point margin, the Rockets reeled off a decisive 13-0 run midway through the second.
Things continued to worsen offensively for Phoenix throughout the second quarter. After Ayton missed three successive point-blank shots, Eric Gordon responded with a three-pointer that gave the Rockets their largest lead of the first half, 50-29. The Suns missed 21-of-24 shot attempts in the second, including 13-of-14 from behind the arc, and trailed 54-35 at the intermission.
Ayton (2-of-10) and Bridges (1-of-12) shot a combined 3-for-22 prior to the break. Excluding Payne, who made 3-of-4 three-pointers, the Suns were 8-of-46 from the floor in the first half. – Rappler.com