NBA Hoops

Rockets Win 10th Straight, Eye 1st Playoff Appearance Since 2020

Houston Rockets Win 10th Straight, Eye First Playoff Appearance Since 2020

The Houston Rockets defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 132-126 in overtime on Wednesday night for their 10th straight win, as they continue to fight for their first playoff berth since the 2019-20 season.

It’s the second-longest winning streak in the NBA this season, trailing only an 11-game run by the league-leading Boston Celtics. It’s also Houston’s longest win streak since the Rockets won 11 straight in March 2018.

“Oh, it was lit,” Jalen Green said after recording 37 points, 10 rebounds, and seven assists. “Everybody was happy, celebrating, screaming. We fought for that one. We worked hard. That’s how we should react after going 10-0. We’ll still keep going. We got what, 10 more games left?”

The Rockets (37-35) lucked out playing a dominant Thunder team without star guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who was downgraded to out on OKC’s injury report due to a quadriceps contusion.

Houston remains only one game behind the No. 10-seeded Golden State Warriors (38-34) for the West’s final play-in spot. The No. 9-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (41-32) hold a 2.5-game lead on the Warriors as well.

“We’re going to get a play-in game,” Green said. “We’re going to keep going.”

Through 72 games (all starts) this season, Green is averaging 19.8 points, a career-high 5.1 rebounds, 3.4 assists, and 31.6 minutes per game while shooting career bests of 42.7% from the floor and 80.8% at the foul line.

Houston Rockets are 25-19 against Western Conference opponents, still trail Golden State Warriors

However, the Rockets’ No. 2 overall pick in the 2021 draft has averaged 29.8 points over the 10 games, shooting 51% from the floor and 45.9% from 3-point range.

The team has gone 12-1 in March with Green playing lights out. He could become the first non-All-NBA player since Tobias Harris in November 2018 to win Western Conference Player of the Month.

Furthermore, Houston is 26-11 at home, 11-24 away, 9-5 against Southwest Division opponents, and 25-19 in conference play. The team has also won six straight on the road and six in a row versus West teams.

“I think it’s invaluable for our young guys to go through this,” Rockets coach Ime Udoka said. “And obviously making the playoffs or play-in will be another step, but just going through what they are now and coming on the other side…

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