Don't look now, but the Houston Rockets are heating up. Well, maybe you should look now, because it might not last very long.
But that's beside the point. The 4-16 Rockets were 1-16 before their most recent three-game stretch, all victories (obviously) with some notable performances in each. In a shocking win over the Bulls, eight players scored in double figures, with Christian Wood's 16-point, 10-rebound double-double leading the charge. In their high-scoring victory over the Hornets, Wood came through again, with 33 points and 16 rebounds, while Kevin Porter, Garrison Mathews and Eric Gordon all finished with over 20 points. And on Monday night, it was (surprise, surprise) Wood's 24-point, 21-rebound night that catapulted Houston over Oklahoma City.
But what was also of note in Monday night's box score was that Porter finished with a triple-double, just barely eking it out with 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the first time in his career that he had achieved a triple-double, but... let's just say it wasn't the purest three-stat set of double-digit figures that we've ever seen.
The fact that rookie big man Alperen Şengün had the awareness to lightly miss out on the rebound, instead keeping it in play for someone else to grab, makes it seem like KPJ had instructed his teammates to let him grab his tenth board. But the fact that everyone needed to scream at Porter — players and announcers alike — in order to make him come get it makes me think that his teammates just really wanted him to get a triple-double, whether or not he was cognizant of the fact that he was so close. In doing so, he helped a bettor win over $1,500 on a $40 wager.
Over their three-game winning streak, Porter is averaging 16.0 points, 10.7 assists and 8.0 rebounds, though he hasn't been particularly efficient in the scoring department, shooting just 34.8 percent from the field. Still, the third-year guard is showing some impressive signs of his talent, which we saw after he landed in Houston last season following a falling-out with the Cavaliers.
With contests against the lowly Thunder, Magic and Pelicans ahead, the Rockets could continue their winning streak before matchups against Eastern Conference juggernauts like the Nets and Bucks likely slow their hot stretch.