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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Jalen Green's career-high 42 points helps Rockets beat Minnesota and end 13-game losing skid

POSTED: January 24, 2023 -- 10:18 a.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 119-114 Monday night to end an NBA season-high 13-game losing streak. Houston had lost 10 straight home games. Jalen Green scored a career-high 42 points to lead the Rockets.

"We needed that," Green acknowledged after the game. "We were desperate for it. We came out. Executed."

"It was a good team win," Stephen Silas, Rockets Head Coach said after the game. "It feels good."

Rockets rookie forward Tari Eason helped set the tone in the first quarter. Eason scored 6 of Houston's first 9 points as Houston jumped on the Timberwolves 9-0 the first 3:06 of the game.

"I just stuck to what I do best," Eason said in the locker room after game. "Just bring energy."

Eason finished the game with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Eason is the first Rockets rookie to have posted those numbers in a single game since Ralph Sampson vs. San Antonio on January 20, 1984 (24/23/4/4/4).

Green scored 13 points in the opening quarter on 5 for 6 field goal shooting. Houston led by as much as 12 in the quarter but led by 5 (31-26) at the end of the period.

Houston (11-36) led 37-30 in the second quarter when Minnesota (24-25) went on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 39. Minnesota guard D'Angelo Russell sank back-to-back three-pointers to put the Timberwolves on top 45-39; but, the Rockets responded with a 12-6 run to tie the game at 51.

Alperen Sengun, Green, and Garrison Mathews each hit a three-point shot during the run.

The game was tied at 56 at halftime. Green scored 21 points in the first half.

The third quarter featured five ties and numerous turnovers. Houston committed 5 turnovers in the quarter while Minnesota doubled that number with 10 third quarter turnovers. The Rockets scored 10 points off the Timberwolves' 10 turnovers.

With the score tied at 74, Mathews scored 5 points during a 13-3 Rockets' run for an 87-77 Houston lead with 1:43 left in the third quarter.

Houston led 90-81 after three quarters.

"I think the defense in the third quarter was what really sparked us," Green said after the game.

Houston committed 4 turnovers in the first 2 minutes 30 seconds of the fourth quarter which helped Minnesota trim Houston's lead to 92-89.

The Timberwolves got within 1 (100-99) after Minnesota guard Anthony Edwards swished a three-pointer with 5:06 left in the fourth quarter.

Over the next 2 minutes, Houston missed 2 field goals and turned over the ball twice; but, Jalen Green stopped the drought with a finger roll layup; a three-point basket; and a pull-up jumper to give the Rockets a 107-100 lead with just 1:47 left in the game.

Green followed up his pull-up jumper with a blocked shot of D'Angelo Russell's 3-point attempt. After Sengun was whistled for another traveling violation, Rockets' forward KJ Martin stole an inbounds pass and raced down the court for an emphatic slam dunk with 56.9 seconds remaining.

Russell sank a three-pointer to cut Houston's lead to six; but, Green answered with his sixth 3-pointer bucket of the game to boost Houston's lead to 112-103 with 41 seconds left in the ball game.

Jae'Sean Tate hit 2 free throws to match Anthony Edwards to free throws. Houston led 114-105 with just 33.5 seconds to go. Edwards hit a 3 to cut Houston's lead to six. Minnesota sent Houston to the foul line 3 different times; and, Houston split the 2 foul shots all three times which gave Minnesota life.

Minnesota pulled within 3 (117-114) with 2.1 seconds to go. Rockets veteran Eric Gordon was fouled and made both free throws to seal the win and end the losing streak.

"It was the mental fortitude that we showed to win the game," Coach Silas said.

Alperen Sengun finished the game with 21 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. Sengun has scored 20 or more points in three of the past 4 games and 10 times overall this season after doing so twice as a rookie in 2021-22. Sengun has recorded at least 6 assists in each of the past seven games after doing so seven times prior in his career.

NEXT:

The Rockets' next game is Wednesday, January 25, at home, against the Washington Wizards. Tip is set for 7 p.m. Central Time.

NOTES:

Houston won despite having 23 turnovers. The Rockets are actually 7-7 when having 20+ turnovers this season.

Anthony Edwards had 31 points while D'Angelo Russell had 30. It is the second time Minnesota has had two players score 30+ points this season (Edwards w/35 and Karl-Anthony Towns w/30 vs. Orlando on November 16).


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