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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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Rockets lose 113-99 to Memphis for 11th consecutive loss

POSTED: March 2, 2023 -- 9:33 a.m. CT

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The Houston Rockets welcomed back guard Kevin Porter Jr Wednesday night. KPJ missed 20 games with a contusion on his right big toe. His return to action didn't end Houston's losing streak as the Rockets lost 113-99 to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Porter Jr scored 11 points in nearly 26 minutes of action. He didn't shoot the ball well (3 for 11 from the floor); but, he did enjoy returning to game action.

"It's a relief to be back despite, you know, how the game went," KPJ said after the game.

Houston (13-49) has lost 11 in a row while Memphis (38-23) has won three straight after going 3-5 the eight games prior.

Jalen Green sank a 3-point shot to give the Rockets a 3-2 early in the game; however, the Rockets struggled to make shots the rest of the first quarter. Houston finished the first quarter 6 for 26 (23.1%) from the floor; however, the Rockets only trailed Memphis by 6 (25-19) at the end of the quarter.

The second quarter featured 4 ties and 6 lead changes as Houston's offense warmed up while the Grizzlies' offense cooled off. Houston shot 45.2% (10 for 22) while Memphis made 5 of 16 (31.2%) in the second stanza.

Houston's KJ Martin scored 10 of the Rockets' 25 second quarter points to help the Rockets outscore Memphis 25-22 in the quarter. Houston trailed 47-44 at halftime.

Rockets rookie Jabari Smith Jr. scored a layup for the first points of the third quarter to pull the Rockets within 1 (47-46) of the Grizzlies. Memphis answered with a 19-7 run. Desmond Bane knocked down two 3-pointers for Memphis during the run.

The Grizzlies shot 58.3% (14 for 24) in the third quarter including making 5 of 6 three-point attempts. Houston made only 8 of 22 field goals for 36.4%.

Houston was outscored 38-24 in the third quarter and trailed 85-68 after 36 minutes.

"I thought our execution was pretty much the same for all four quarters," Taylor Jenkins, Memphis Head Coach said after the game. "Just started making shots in that third; got us that juice that we needed to build up a nice lead going into the fourth."

The Grizzlies put the Rockets away with another three-point barrage in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies were a perfect 5-for-5 from three in the first 4 minutes, 42 seconds in the fourth to lead by 28 (109-81) with 7:18 remaining in the game.

"I'm not sure exactly what happened," Jalen Green, Rockets guard said of Memphis' second-half shooting. I think they just hit big shots. Started hitting threes and stuff."

Green scored a team-high 20 points while shooting 4 for 7 from 3-point range.

Desmond Bane scored a game-high 30 points for Memphis in 29 minutes. He has scored 30+ points five times this season after doing so a total of four times his first two seasons.


The Rockets' next game is Saturday, March 4, on the road, against the San Antonio Spurs. Tip is set for 7 p.m. Central Time.


The Rockets had 17 offensive rebounds and scored 21 second chance points. Houston has recorded 20+ second chance points in three straight games for the third time this season.

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