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Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Rockets refused to touch the ball so Kevin Porter Jr. could get a triple-double

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This season already feels like one big slog for the Houston Rockets. Houston started 1-1, but then lost 15 games in a row. There are rumors second-year head coach Stephen Silas could already be on the hot seat. John Wall continues to be held out by the team even though he’s healthy and wants to play. The vibes in Houston have been decidedly sour all season.

Then last Wednesday, the Rockets used a huge third quarter run to stun the Chicago Bulls and break their losing streak. In their next game, Houston won a three-overtime thriller against the Charlotte Hornets. On Monday, the Oklahoma City Thunder came to town, and the Rockets got the job done for their third straight win.

With the game in hand late in the fourth quarter, the Rockets only had one objective: get Kevin Porter Jr. his first career triple-double. While KPJ shot just 4-of-17 from the field, he had 11 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds in the final minutes of the game.

His teammates were so determined to get him the last rebound he needed for the triple-double that they refused to grab the ball after a late OKC miss. Porter finally realized what was happening and picked up the loose ball to secure his triple-double.

Yes, the triple-double is an out-dated statistical achievement at this point and not all that reflective of a player’s impact on winning. Yes, it’s extra funny that this happened during a game when Porter shot 23.5 percent from the field. But given how poor this season has already gone for Houston, there’s something kind of sweet about Porter’s teammates really wanting him to get his first triple-double and doing everything in their power to make it happen.

When times are tough, we all want the best for our friends. The Rockets willed a beautiful moment into existence because they wanted Kevin Porter Jr. to carve out a little slice of happiness in a lost season. We love everything about it.

The Rockets play at Oklahoma City, then host the Magic and Pelicans in their next three games. Can this three-game winning streak turn into a six-game winning streak? With the power of friendship on their side, anything is possible.

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