NBA Hoops

Jalen Green leads ‘desperate’ Rockets with another 40-point game

Jalen Green leads ‘desperate’ Rockets with another 40-point game

HOUSTON — As time was expiring inside Toyota Center on Monday night, the facial expressions worn by players and coaches on the Rockets displayed something that the home fans had not seen over the last month and a half of basketball.


The Rockets ended a season-long losing streak of 13 games by defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves, 119-114, led by a career-high 42 points from second-year shooting guard Jalen Green.

It was a 32-point turnaround from the previous game. Just 48 hours earlier, Green had scored only 10 points against the same Timberwolves team in a 113-104 loss at Minnesota.

“Obviously, I was in my head a little bit after the 10-point game,” Green said during his postgame press conference. “Today, Coach [Stephen Silas] got on us for not having our mind in shootaround. He and I went over film before and just broke that down. We were trying to see where I could do better coming off the double team and getting my guys involved better, and getting the ball back in my hands.”

Green’s scoring output surpassed his combined total of 40 points in the first three games against Minnesota this season, including just 19 points in the previous two losses. He now has scored 40 or more points in two of his past three games, becoming only the sixth player 20 or younger to have recorded at least three 40-point games.

Green, 20, used the film study with his head coach to his advantage as he torched the Timberwolves for 21 points in both halves while overcoming any extra defenders that Minnesota sent his way.

“He was aggressive, for sure,” Silas said. “He was decisive, I would say. There were times previously that he was indecisive as far as what coverages they were playing him or what type of defense they were playing. He was making quick decisions and getting to his spots.”

With Houston holding a narrow 102-99 lead with 3:33 left in the fourth quarter, Green exploded for 11 points over the final three-plus minutes to help lead his team to victory.

“I already had a chip on my shoulder entering this game,” Green said after his performance. “My guys relied on me; coaches relied on me; it feels good. We needed that; we…

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