NBA: Jalen Green lifts Rockets to 6th straight win

NBA: Jalen Green lifts Rockets to 6th straight win

/ 12:02 PM March 20, 2024

Jalen Green Rockets beat Wizards NBA

Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green celebrates after a play against the Washington Wizards during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in Washington. The Rockets won 137-114. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON — Jalen Green tied a career-high with 42 points, and the Houston Rockets closed the third quarter on a 25-6 run en route to their sixth straight victory, 137-114 over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the NBA.

Houston is now just 2 1/2 games behind Golden State for the final play-in spot in the Western Conference. Amen Thompson scored 25 points for the Rockets, and Fred VanVleet had seven points and 11 assists.

“I’ve had runs where I’d get hot and cool down,” Green said. “My main goal is just to keep building on the hot streaks and be as consistent as possible and affect the game in ways even when I’m not scoring the ball well.”

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

Corey Kispert scored 16 points for Washington, which was without Kyle Kuzma (left shoulder), Deni Avdija (right knee), Tyus Jones (back) and Bilal Coulibaly (right wrist).

Even with all those absences, the Wizards shot well enough from 3-point range to make a game of it for 2 1/2 quarters. Then Green broke a 76-all tie with two straight 3s and a three-point play, making it 85-76. After a couple Washington free throws, the Rockets scored seven more points in a row and it was never close after that.

“Really it was the last six minutes of the third,” Wizards interim coach Brian Keefe said. “That game was back and forth, pretty much the whole game until that point. Obviously Green, we made a couple blown coverages on some of our pick-and-roll stuff and he got hot. And it was hard to turn him off after that.”

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Green scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished the game with 10 rebounds. His previous season high in points was 37 — last Thursday against Washington.

Jabari Smith Jr. scored 18 points with 14 rebounds for the Rockets. Justin Champagnie and Jules Bernard scored 16 points apiece for the Wizards.

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“I think we had eight of the nine guys in double figures,” Keefe said. “So there were a lot of positives.”

Jock Landale had seven of Houston’s 11 blocked shots. Washington’s Jordan Poole had six of his shots blocked, five by Landale. Poole scored 13 points on 5-of-18 shooting.

Champagnie banked in a shot from midcourt to end the first quarter, cutting Houston’s lead to three. The Rockets led 60-57 at halftime.

“My message was: We’re messing around with the game,” Houston coach Ime Udoka said. “We’re scoring at a high enough clip, but we got to guard.”

Washington has won only four games at home this season, one fewer at Capital One Arena than North Carolina State’s college team won at the ACC Tournament just last week. After five straight losses, the Wizards have the NBA’s worst record at 11-58. They are 1 1/2 games behind Detroit.

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NEXT SCHEDULE

Rockets: Host Chicago on Thursday night.

Wizards: Host Sacramento on Thursday night.

TAGS: Houston Rockets, NBA

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