NBA: Jalen Green scores season-high as Rockets thump Wizards
NBA

NBA: Jalen Green scores season-high as Rockets thump Wizards

/ 12:10 PM March 15, 2024

Houston Rockets' Jalen Green NBA

Houston Rockets’ Jalen Green (4) drives toward the basket as Washington Wizards’ Kyle Kuzma (33) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Houston. The Rockets won 135-119. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON— Jalen Green scored a season-high 37 points as the Houston Rockets built a big lead early and cruised to a 135-119 win over the Washington Wizards on Thursday night.

Fred VanVleet added 27 points for the Rockets, who won their fourth straight game.

All of Houston’s starters scored in double figures in the second game since Alperen Sengun injured his knee and ankle Sunday. The Rockets outrebounded Washington 46-32 despite being without the star big man.

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“We’ve been playing really good,” Green said. “Defense has been our main priority because we’re very talented offensively. When we get out in transition and run it’s very hard to guard us. So it all starts with defense and that’s been really good.”

Jordan Poole scored 25 points off the bench for the Wizards, who dropped their second game in a row after winning their previous two. Deni Avdija added 24 points and Kyle Kuzma had 23 for Washington.

“I thought we started well (but) it got away from us a little bit in the second quarter, ” Washington interim coach Brian Keefe said. “We never really got our defense in the game. The ball was getting in the paint way too easily.”

The Rockets led by as many as 24 points and were up by 15 points to open the fourth quarter.

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Green talked about how they’re adjusting to playing without Sengun, who is out indefinitely with his injuries.

“When it’s just the small unit in, we play a lot faster and get out and run,” he said.

A 6-0 run by the Wizards, with four points from Avdija, cut Houston’s lead to 112-101 early in the fourth. But the Rockets recovered and pushed their advantage to 121-105 midway through the quarter, powered by two 3-pointers from Green.

Washington trailed by 13 later in the fourth before Houston scored the next eight points, with four from rookie Amen Thompson, to make it 133-112 with about two minutes left.

The Rockets were up by 22 with about four minutes left in the third quarter before Washington cut the lead to 110-95 entering the fourth. Poole made three 3-pointers in that stretch for the Wizards.

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NEXT NBA SCHEDULE

Wizards: Visit Chicago Saturday night.

Rockets: Host Cleveland Saturday.

TAGS: Houston Rockets, Jalen Green

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