Rockets Keep Play-In Hopes Alive With Huge Win vs. Thunder

Jalen Green, Lu Dort, Rockets, Thunder, NBA
Mar 27, 2024; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA; Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green (4) drives down the court beside Oklahoma City Thunder guard Luguentz Dort (5) during overtime at Paycom Center. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks ago, it looked like a foregone conclusion who would be participating in the NBA Play-In Tournament in the Western Conference. A few teams had separated themselves from the pack, it was just a matter of how they would be seeded.

However, the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers, the teams in ninth and 10th place, now have another team to worry about; the Houston Rockets. The Rockets are the hottest team in the NBA, as they picked up their 10th straight win on Wednesday night and are in prime position to steal one of the play-in spots.

On the road against the Oklahoma City Thunder, who are fighting for the No. 1 seed in the conference, the Rockets picked up a massive victory. They won 132-126 in overtime, pushing their record to 37-35 as they sit one game behind the Warriors for 10th place.

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ime Udokoa, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

Leading the way for the Rockets was Jalen Green. The No. 2 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft has really come alive during this streak, looking like the star the team envisioned he would be when they called his name a few years ago.

He scored a game-high 37 points to go along with 10 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block in 46 minutes. Green also registered a game-high +12 plus/minus ratio, as the Rockets thrived with him on the court.

“Oh, it was lit,” Green said after his incredible game. “Everybody was happy, celebrating, screaming. We fought for that one. We worked hard. That’s how we should react after going 10-0. We’ll still keep going. We got what, 10 more games left?”

The Thunder were playing without Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the game, who is dealing with a quadriceps contusion. Houston was able to take advantage of the MVP candidate being sidelined, picking up a huge win to start their mini two-game road trip.

“We’re going to get a play-in game,” Green said. “We’re going to keep going.”

NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Ime Udokoa, Jalen Green, Houston Rockets Updates

After looking dead in the water, this winning streak has made that into a real possibility. But, the road to the NBA Play-In Game will not be an easy one for the Rockets. If they do make it, they will have earned their spot.

They go on the road to face the Utah Jazz on Friday night before hosting the Dallas Mavericks and going on the road to face the Minnesota Timberwolves. The biggest game for the franchise in years will happen on Thursday, April 4th when they host the Warriors in a matchup that will go a long way to determining who gets into the NBA Play-In Tournament.

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