Rockets rally from 16 down to beat Booker, Suns 122-121

Dec 2, 2022, 6:39 AM | Updated: 9:36 pm
Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet drives on Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (6) during the...

Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet drives on Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (6) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. The Rockets won 122-121. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

              Phoenix Suns guard Landry Shamet drives on Houston Rockets forward Kenyon Martin Jr. (6) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. The Rockets won 122-121. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Phoenix Suns forward Mikal Bridges (25) drives on Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. The Rockets won 122-121. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker reacts after being fouled during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. The Rockets won 122-121. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Houston Rockets head coach Stephen Silas reacts to a call during the first half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Phoenix Suns, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Houston Rockets guard Daishen Nix passes the ball around Phoenix Suns center Bismack Biyombo (18) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green drives on Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) drives on Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
            
              Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green drives past Phoenix Suns forward Dario Saric (20) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Dec. 2, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX (AP) — Jalen Green sccored 30 points to jolt the Houston Rockets’ offense and even managed to slow down the scorching Devin Booker — at least a little.

The result was a stunning 122-121 victory over the Phoenix Suns that featured a 16-point comeback in the second half and a white-knuckle final possession that included four missed shots for the Suns.

“That’s what I want to be known as in this league, a two-way player who is also a scorer,” the 20-year-old Green said. “I’ve got to start somewhere. Tonight was a perfect opportunity and it worked out.”

Houston won after blowing a six-point lead in the final two minutes. Booker and Cameron Payne made back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 121, but the Rockets pushed ahead by a point when Green made hit free throw with 28.8 seconds remaining.

That set up a frantic final possession that included four missed shots by the Suns, including a 16-foot jumper by Booker at the buzzer.

“We were able to get good shots,” Suns coach Monty Williams said. “We just weren’t able to convert them.”

It was one of the few blemishes for Booker, who led the Suns with 41 points on 15-of-25 shooting. The three-time All-Star is in the midst of one of the best scoring stretches of his career. He had 44 points at Sacramento on Monday night and 51 against Chicago at home Wednesday night.

Booker was slightly more mortal in the fourth quarter, making just 3 of 8 shots. Green was guarding him for a big chunk of that time, trying to make life hard on the three-time All-Star.

“One thing about my young guys is they have a short memory, they keep going,” Rockets coach Stephen Silas said. “He took on the challenge of guarding Booker — doing it on both ends. That’s growth. Showing his competitiveness, showing what he can be. I was really proud of him for that.”

Houston (6-16) had the worst record in Western Conference coming into Friday’s game while the Suns (15-7) had the best. The Suns had their six-game winning streak snapped.

“All the hard work that we’re putting in is paying off a little bit,” Silas said. “That last possession was heart stopping.”

The Rockets trailed by 16 late in the third quarter and by 10 going into the fourth, but tied it at 106 midway through the fourth. Garrison Matthews made a 3-pointer with 4:17 left that put Houston up 113-110. Eric Gordon added a corner 3 with 2:05 left to push the advantage to 118-113.

Green scored 21 points in the second half, including 20 in the third quarter.

“It just builds our confidence going forward,” Green said. “We’re a talented young team, we’ve got a lot of power in the starting five and on the bench.”

Booker’s high-scoring ways helped him earn Western Conference Player of the Month for November and the 6-foot-5 guard kept it up in the first quarter against the Rockets, scoring 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting. The three-time All-Star finished with 20 points in the first half, which helped the Suns take a 64-57 halftime lead.

Booker kept it up in the second half, scoring 13 more points in the third quarter. He pushed the lead to 96-86 after three quarters, making a contested, turnaround jumper in the final seconds.

The Rockets had a 43-19 advantage in free throw attempts and 13 offensive rebounds.

“Offensive rebounds and free throws. Fourth quarter they scored 36,” Payne said. “We’ve got to keep him off the boards, off the free throw line.”

TIP-INS

Rockets: G Jae’Sean Tate (right ankle soreness) was inactive. … All five starters scored in double figures.

Suns: F Torrey Craig (right groin strain), F Cam Johnson (right meniscus tear) and G Chris Paul (right heel soreness) were inactive. Paul missed his 12th straight game. … Hosted a 40th straight sellout crowd at Footprint Center.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At Golden State on Saturday night.

Suns: At San Antonio on Sunday.

___

More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/nba and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020, file photo, the Olympic rings are reinstalled after it was taken down ...
Associated Press

Probe into US Olympic failings stunted by red tape in DC

DENVER (AP) — More than 27 months since it was greenlighted by Congress, the panel established to investigate the inner workings of the U.S. Olympic structure has yet to conduct a formal interview because of bureaucratic red tape and slow action from the same lawmakers who had expressed a pressing need for better oversight. Two […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic gestures on the court in the second half of an NBA basketball ga...
Associated Press

Who has next for James’ scoring record: Luka? Tatum? Anyone?

James Harden averaged 36 points a few seasons ago. Devin Booker once scored 70 in one game. There are many more players doing much more scoring now than when LeBron James began his NBA career in 2003-04. Tracy McGrady led the league with 28 points per game that season, a mark that nine players would […]
1 day ago
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates taking second place in an alpine ski, women's World Cham...
Associated Press

Shiffrin’s silver at ski worlds inspired by LeBron’s record

MERIBEL, France (AP) — Amid a whirlwind 48 hours high in the French Alps, Mikaela Shiffrin woke up to the news that LeBron James had broken the NBA scoring record and the American skier immediately drew comparisons to her own record-breaking season. Inspired by James’ accomplishment, Shiffrin went out a few hours later and put […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, scores to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA...
Associated Press

Analysis: LeBron has defied odds, with no drop-off in sight

LeBron James is 38 years old. He is in Season 20 of his NBA career. He is, by conventional basketball-playing standards, ancient. History says his decline should have started already. Except it hasn’t. Not even close. And count that as just another example of what sets James apart from so many other greats, so many […]
1 day ago
Elina Svitolina talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Fe...
Associated Press

Svitolina calls for Russians to be banned from Olympics

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian tennis player and Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina pushed for a total ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Paris Games in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. Svitolina, who won her bronze medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is visiting Ukraine for […]
1 day ago
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, left, welcomes Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy at Dow...
Associated Press

IOC responds to Paris mayor on Olympic plan for Russians

GENEVA (AP) — The International Olympic Committee pushed back against the mayor of Paris on Wednesday, insisting there were no plans for “a Russian or Belarusian delegation” at the 2024 Games while also acknowledging some athletes from those countries could be welcomed. The IOC statement came a day after Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said no […]
1 day ago
Rockets rally from 16 down to beat Booker, Suns 122-121