Prized rookie Jalen Green built on his recent momentum with a career-high 32 points on Wednesday, leading his Houston Rockets to a thrilling 139-130 (box score) win over LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers. Green scored 10 of those points in a decisive and clutch overtime period, and he was very efficient in his home Toyota Center gym by making 13-of-21 shots (61.9%) and 4-of-7 on 3-pointers (57.1%).
Meanwhile, fellow first-round rookie Alperen Sengun added 21 points and 14 rebounds, which were both career-highs. Sengun started for the Rockets in place of veteran Christian Wood, who missed his second straight game with an illness, and played a career-high 40 minutes.
Rookie guard Josh Christopher, who was the fourth of Houston’s four first-round picks in 2021, excelled off the bench with 21 points and 6 rebounds in 23 minutes. As with Green, Christopher was extremely efficient, making 8-of-13 shots (61.5%) and 3-of-5 on 3-pointers (60.0%).
It was a dynamic game on offense up and down the lineup. KJ Martin started in place of Jae’Sean Tate (ankle) and had 17 points and 11 rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting (58.3%), while veteran Eric Gordon scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting (55.6%) — including one jaw-dropping move versus James. Point guard Kevin Porter Jr. was one of the only Houston players who didn’t shoot well, making just 4-of-13 shots (30.8%), but he dished out a team-high 10 assists and grabbed 8 rebounds.
James had a triple-double for Los Angeles with 23 points, 14 rebounds, and 12 assists, but Houston held the all-time great to 9-of-26 shooting (34.7%). Russell Westbrook led the Lakers in scoring with 30 points.
While Houston (17-49) remains at the bottom of the Western Conference, the rebuilding Rockets are clearly improving, having won two of their last three. Meanwhile, the Lakers (28-37) remain in the No. 9 spot as they work to lock down a spot in the play-in tournament for the playoffs.
Scroll on for highlights and postgame reaction, both by players and coaches and from reporters and fans across social media.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel praises growth by Rockets rookie Jalen Green
Stephen Silas sees growth from Rockets, and it starts with Jalen Green
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