Green has 31, Rockets beat Spurs again with 142-110 rout
HOUSTON (AP) — Jalen Green scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets got a 142-110 victory over San Antonio on Sunday, beating the Spurs for the second straight night in a matchup of the Western Conference’s worst teams.
The Rockets snapped an 11-game skid with a 122-110 win Saturday night in San Antonio and picked up where they left off at home Sunday, leading by as many as 32.
They were up by 10 at halftime, used a 35-point third quarter to lead by 21 to start the fourth and cruised to the victory.
“I was a little disappointed at halftime,” coach Stephen Silas said. “I challenged the team at halftime to play better, especially on the defensive end and they started the third quarter … with the right attitude.”
It’s the first time Houston has won consecutive games since Jan. 28 and Feb. 1 and leaves the team tied with Detroit for the NBA’s worst record at 15-49. The Spurs are just ahead of the Rockets at the bottom of the Western Conference standings at 16-49.
Keita Bates-Diop led the Spurs with 17 points and Keldon Johnson had eight points and five assists in his return after missing two games with a sprained left foot.
“I thought Houston was a really good, physical, strong team,” coach Gregg Popovich said. “Silas has got them going good. They’re energetic, aggressive. They deserved to win that game.”
Green, the second overall pick in the 2021 draft, needed just three quarters to notch his 11th game this season with at least 30 points. He watched the fourth quarter from the bench with the game well in hand.
Kevin Porter Jr. added 19 points with a season-high 13 assists for the Rockets in his third game back after missing 20 with a bruised toe.
Everyone in Houston's starting lineup scored at least 10 points.
“We have an unselfish group,” Silas said. “We have a group that wants to do the right things. We’re just young, which gets in our way sometimes.”
Houston was up by 10 with about nine minutes left in the third quarter before using an 8-2 run, with dunks by Kenyon Martin Jr. and Green, to make it 87-71. Johnson had turnovers on consecutive possessions in that stretch to power the run.
Devonte’ Graham had all of San Antonio’s points in a 5-2 spurt after that. But the Rockets scored the next 10 points, capped by two 3-pointers from Green, to push the advantage to 99-76 with four minutes left in the third.
Blake Wesley and Graham made back-to-back 3-pointers in a 7-0 run by San Antonio late in the third quarter. Jae’Sean Tate scored the last five points of the quarter to leave Houston up 108-87 entering the fourth.
Spurs: Zach Collins missed the game with a sore left ankle. … Doug McDermott missed a second straight game with a sprained right thumb. … Jeremy Sochan sat out with a sore right knee.
Rockets: Alperen Sengun had 15 points and 14 rebounds. ...Tate had 16 points. ...Houston made 13 of 24 3-pointers. ...Tari Eason scored 17 points off the bench.
Spurs: Host Denver Friday night.
Rockets: Host Brooklyn Tuesday night. ___
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Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press