Changing of the Guard: Jalen Green powers Rockets past Harden, Sixers in 2 OT’s, 132-123
By Emmanuel Rivera, RRT PhilBoxing.com Wed, 07 Dec 2022
December 5, 2023 (Monday)
It was a battle of the guards past, present and future— the passing of the torch from an old Rocket to the new, Harden to Green.
Filipino-American Jalen Green missed all of his seven shots beyond the arc, his second straight and fruitless night at three pointers (0-5 against the Warriors previously).
Despite his struggles beyond the outer perimeter, however, Green managed to impress and beat former Houston star James Harden and the 76’ers 132-123 in the first double OT of the season.
The second-year guard authored 27 points making 9 of 20 shots (45% FG),
4 rebounds, 7 assists, and a steal in 45 minutes of playing time.
“He's been just attacking the rim, shooting his shot, and just playing with a lot of confidence…"I am proud of him…he has not only lived up to expectations, but he is coming in with that swagger every single game,” Harden enthused as quoted on Twitter #LightTheFuse @JalenGreen #Sarge @TheRocketsWire @JHarden13
Green’s stats are less than his rookie season, but he is having a break-out year this season. In his first 24 starts, he averaged 21.6 points (41.5% FG and 31.8% 3-PT), 4.0 boards, and 4.0 assists per game.
"His aggressiveness from last year carried over to this year," Harden was quoted by NBA.com and Basketball Insiders’ James Foglio about the growth of Jalen Green.
Ah, yes, about the exciting game…
It was a see-saw match with both teams not farther than 12 points apart, all night.
Kevin Porter Porter, Jr. was workmanlike with his 24 points for the Rockets, making 4-of-8 on treys (50.0% 3-PT). Rookie forward Jabari Smith Jr. posted another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds on 3-of-6 shooting from 3-point range (50.0%), including 2 dramatic treys in double overtime.
As a team, the Rockets made 42 of 94 buckets (44.7% FG) and an anemic 14 of 39 treys (35.9% 3-PT). The young Houston squad (7-17) have now won four of their last seven games.
The Sixers did not easily capitulate.
All-Star Sixers center and MVP candidate Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 39 points making 12-of-21 baskets (57.1% FG), but he fouled out at the end of Monday's first overtime on a Kevin Porter Jr. drive. Thereafter, the Sixers caved in and were outshot by 10 points.
James Harden, who missed a month due to a right foot sprain, struggled in his return but still scored 21 points ( 21.1% FG) and a team-high 7 assists.
As a team, the Sixers made 39 of 87 buckets (44.8% FG) and 17 of 36 from downtown (47.2% 3-PT).
Houston Rockets: Visit San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night.
Philadelphia Sixers: Start a 7-game homestand against the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday night.
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