Fri, 22 Sep 2023

Rockets pull out one-point win over Suns

Field Level Media
03 Dec 2022, 15:05 GMT+10

Jalen Green scored 30 points and reserve center Bruno Fernando keyed a fourth-quarter comeback as the Houston Rockets earned a 122-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday.

Green made one of two free throws with 28.8 seconds left before the Rockets survived the final frantic seconds, with the Suns missing four shots on an extended final possession. Devin Booker, who scored a game-high 41 points, misfired twice, including on a 16-footer at the buzzer.

Houston snapped the Suns' six-game winning streak by turning a 14-2 run early in the fourth quarter into a 106-106 deadlock. Fernando, who produced 10 points and five rebounds in the final period, ran roughshod in the paint as the Rockets shot 13 of 19 in the fourth.

Jabari Smith Jr. added 17 points and Kevin Porter Jr. had 15 points, six boards, seven assists for the Rockets, who got a key corner 3-pointer from Eric Gordon that bumped the lead to 118-113.

Booker and Cameron Payne (20 points, 12 assists) lifted Phoenix back even with 3-pointers only for both to miss, along with Mikal Bridges (22 points, eight rebounds), desperate heaves after Green gave the Rockets the lead with his 12th successful free throw.

Up by seven at halftime, the Suns burst out of the gate in the third quarter. When Payne dropped in a floater with 3:59 left in the period, Phoenix had its largest lead of the game at 89-73.

Green poured in 20 points on 6-for-10 shooting in the third quarter, tallying eight points during a 13-5 rally that enabled the Rockets to cut the 16-point deficit in half. But when Booker sank a difficult baseline fadeaway prior to the buzzer, the Suns led 96-86 entering the fourth.

Booker and Bridges combined for 35 first-half points on 14-of-21 shooting. Phoenix shot 54.5 percent in the half, including 50 percent (10 of 20) from 3-point range. The Rockets made 39.1 percent from the floor before the break and were 3 of 15 from long distance.

The Suns held a 64-57 lead at the intermission despite nine turnovers.

Overall on the night, Phoenix made 52.9 percent from the field and 17 of 37 (45.9 percent) from 3-point range. Houston wound up at 49.4 percent on field-goal attempts and 33.3 percent (8 of 24) on 3-point attempts.

--Field Level Media

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