Houston Rockets guard Jalen Green, who went No. 2 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, is one of the favorites to win Rookie of the Year this season because he has the potential to be a terrific scorer. On Sunday night, in just his third game in the league, he put his skills on full display.
Though the Rockets lost to the Boston Celtics, 107-97, it was no fault of Green’s. He went for 30 points on 11 of 18 from the field, and added four rebounds, three assists and two blocks in what was by far the best game of his young career. Green was most impressive from the outside, as he knocked down eight 3-pointers to write his name in the record books.
He became the first teenager with a 30 point game in Rockets history and also set the franchise record for 3-pointers in a game by a rookie. In addition, he tied Minnesota Timberwolves guard Anthony Edwards for the most 3-pointers in a game by a teenager in NBA history.
Green wasn’t just padding his stats in a blowout either. He made a number of impressive shots off the dribble, including a buzzer beater to end the first quarter. He also showed off his athleticism with some incredible drives to the rim. His high-flying dunk in the fourth quarter got most of the attention, and with good reason, but this daring drive might have been his best play of the night. His balance and body control, first with the dribble and then as he’s avoiding defenders in mid-air, is just remarkable.
Although Green isn’t going to shoot 8 of 10 from 3-point range every night, this game was a preview of what he’s going to be doing to opponents on a regular basis. He’s extremely difficult to stay in front of on the perimeter, and if he’s having a hot shooting night from behind the arc there’s very little you can do to slow him down.
It’s going to be extremely fun to watch Green develop as the season goes along. This won’t be the last time that he goes for at least 30 points.