NBA: Jalen Green, Rockets sweep weekend series vs Spurs
Jalen Green scored 13 of his game-high 31 points in the third quarter as the host Houston Rockets completed a back-to-back sweep of the San Antonio Spurs with a 142-110 victory Sunday.
After pulling away from the Spurs early in the fourth quarter Saturday, Houston seized control in the first half and never relented. Green was instrumental in landing the knockout blow in the third, scoring eight points during a 10-0 run that allowed the Rockets to extend to a 99-76 lead.
Green shot 11 of 19 overall and finished 4 of 8 on 3-pointers. His backcourt mate, Kevin Porter Jr., added 19 points and 13 assists in his best performance since returning from a 20-game injury absence last week. Alperen Sengun posted a double-double (15 points, 14 rebounds) while Tari Easton and Jae’Sean Tate tallied 17 and 16 points off the bench, respectively.
Eason added eight rebounds for Houston, which earned a season series split with the Spurs by shooting 61.2 percent in the series finale. The Spurs were without starters Zach Collins (left ankle), Tre Jones (left foot) and Jeremy Sochan (right knee). San Antonio has dropped 18 of 20 games.
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Keita Bates-Diop paced the Spurs with 17 points while Charles Bassey and Devonte’ Graham scored 14 apiece. San Antonio surrendered 74 points in the paint and 34 points in transition.
Houston answered an early burst by the Spurs with an extended 29-8 run that yielded a 31-18 lead. San Antonio attempted to slow the surge with a timeout following an Eason fast-break dunk with 3:18 remaining in the first, but Green followed with a 3-pointer before Eason and Tate added layups that extended the rally.
The Rockets shot 62.5 percent in the opening period and missed just seven of their final 22 attempts after the Spurs darted to a 10-2 lead. Houston quickly pushed the advantage to 17 points on a Tate three-point play before the Spurs mounted an 11-2 run that included a pair of three-point plays, the last coming from Bates-Diop and cutting the deficit to 43-35.
But, despite the Spurs’ 39-point second period, the Rockets maintained their double-digit cushion at the intermission when Porter drilled a buzzer-beating 3 for a 73-63 halftime lead. Four Spurs made multiple field goals in the second as part of 58.3 percent shooting in the period, but the Rockets shot 59.6 percent in the first half and kept the Spurs at bay with their balanced attack.