Jalen Green, Rockets rally past Hawks

Jalen Green scored 30 points before fouling out late in the fourth quarter as the Houston Rockets rallied from a 16-point, second-half deficit and stunned the visiting Atlanta Hawks 128-122 on Friday.

Green followed a driving layup at the 2:49 mark with a floater 45 seconds later that gave Houston a 118-117 lead, its first since early in the second quarter. Garrison Mathews then closed out the Hawks with four free throws and an acrobatic layup, all within the final minute of play.

Houston’s Kenyon Martin Jr. (21 points, 15 rebounds) had his first 20-10 game since his rookie season in 2020-21. Mathews added 20 points off the bench and rookie Jabari Smith Jr. had 21 points and nine boards for the Rockets, who parlayed 22 offensive rebounds into 37 second-chance points.

Houston finished plus-31 on the glass.

Kevin Porter Jr. added 12 points and 10 assists for the Rockets.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 44 points while Dejounte Murray added 39. However, they were the lone Atlanta starters to score in double figures.

Houston forced its way back into contention in the fourth quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers from Smith and Mathews and two Mathews free throws that cut the deficit to 104-102. Atlanta fended off the Rockets for a spell, but when Green buried a trey in transition, the Rockets pulled even at 112-112 with 5:15 left.

Murray and Young flexed their offensive might throughout, but one particular stretch in the third appeared to put the Hawks in a position to cruise. After Houston closed within 10 on a Bruno Fernando alley-oop dunk, Murray nailed a pullup 3-pointer that pushed the Atlanta lead back to 87-74.

Murray immediately followed with a steal and an assist on a transition trey by Young, with Murray playing to the crowd as the shot nestled into the net. At 90-74 with 6:53 left in the third, the Hawks had their largest lead of the game. Early in the fourth, most of that cushion was gone.