Jalen Green, Alperen Sengun enjoy career nights as Rockets upset Lakers

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.


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