The Houston Rockets won a hard-fought game against the Philadelphia 76ers Monday night with a final score of 132-123. Jalen Green led the team in scoring with 27 points and 7 assists. Former Houston Rocket James Harden returned to the starting line-up on a minutes restriction for the 76ers after missing over a month of playing with a right foot injury. Harden praised Green’s efforts post-game saying, “His aggressiveness [impressed me]. He’s been attacking the rim, shooting his shot, playing with a lot of confidence. As a young guy, if you have confidence, you can learn all the other things. So as long as you keep putting the work in, which it seems like he’s doing, he’ll learn game-by-game, season-by-season and continue to grow.”
Another key component to the double overtime victory was the efforts of Kevin Porter Jr., who Rockets head coach Stephen Silas acknowledged. “He’s been so even with his emotions, and the team feeds off that for sure,” Silas said about Porter post-game. “It’s the steadiness that he gives our group that’s really important.”
“Earlier in the season, a game like this, we might not have won,” forward Tari Eason said post-game. “Now that we’ve gotten some experience and some things we kind of fixed, and late game execution has gotten a lot better, we came out with a win.”
Eason’s contributions were noteworthy as well. He scored 18 points and had 3 steals.
Rockets coach Stephen Silas made a similar comment in acknowledging the team’s progress. “A month ago, we probably wouldn’t have won this game,” Silas explained. “We stayed in it, and got confidence as the game went along, and stayed with it.
“It’s huge for our confidence. Any time that you spend as much time as we do teaching and developing, you want to see the fruits of that. With that comes not only confidence for the players, but confidence in how we do things, in our culture. When you kind of fight through these games and beat some good teams, you’re like, ‘Oh, we’re moving in the right direction.’”
Though the standings don’t reflect it, the Rockets ability to show up and beat these playoff contending teams is an awesome sign of progress.