HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green scored 30 points, Kenyon Martin Jr. and rookie Jabari Smith Jr. added 21 each and the Houston Rockets overcame a 15-point second half deficit to beat the Atlanta Hawks 128-122 on Friday night.
“There is a maturity that comes with every experience that we have,” coach Stephen Silas said. “But to go through everything that we went through in this game and get down and fight back shows not only maturity, but also shows character.”
The Rockets (4-14) got a rare win in this tough season despite huge nights from Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. Young had a season-high 44 and Murray set career highs with 39 points and eight 3-pointers in a game where big man Clint Capela didn’t play.
Green made four quick points to put the Rockets up 118-117 with about two minutes to go. Garrison Mathews grabbed a steal after that and made two free throws after he was fouled on the other end.
Young made 1 of 2 free throws for Atlanta before Smith made it 122-118 on a put-back layup with just over a minute remaining.
Green fouled out just after that and Young made 1 of 2 free throws again. An off-balance layup by Mathews pushed Houston’s lead to 124-119.
Smith talked about the key to finishing this game.
“Just togetherness,” he said. “We didn’t have that energy and that same pop we had to start the game, so we were just trying to find that. Playing angry and just trying to come back.”
Daishen Nix made a free throw with about 30 seconds left to add to Houston’s lead and Mathews added two free throws to make it 127-119 with 13.3 seconds to go.
“Defensively we never established that we could stop this team and when we did force them to miss they beat us to the glass with 22 offensive boards,” Atlanta coach Nate McMillan…