NBA roundup: Jalen Green continues astonishing rise in Rockets win, Bucks put up 150 points
Houston, Texas - The rise of Houston Rockets centerpiece Jalen Green continued on Monday as he scored a career-high 42 points in a 119-114 home win against the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Green was the second overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, and he is living up to the hype as one of the game's most electrifying young scorers.
Against the Timberwolves, the 20-year-old shot 15-of-25 from the field and six-of-12 from long range for his 42 points, four rebounds, four assists with a steal and a block.
The performance came only two games after he tied his career-high 41 points against the Charlotte Hornets last Wednesday, and he is now averaging a team-high 21.7 points per contest with 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
He was not the only young Rockets prospect to show why he is viewed as the future of the franchise, as center Alperen Sengun put together another complete performance in what has been the best month of his career.
Also in his second season after being drafted by the Rockets in 2021, Sengun had 21 points on eight-of-12 shooting while adding seven rebounds and seven assists. It is his playmaking that is the most notable aspect of his growth.
After averaging 2.6 assists per game as a rookie, and no more than 2.8 during the months of October, November and December, he has put together figures of 18.2 points, 9.9 rebounds, and 5.7 assists during his 11 games since the new year began, including a streak of seven consecutive performances with at least six assists.
Despite the win, the Rockets still own the worst record in the NBA at 11-36, and Houston fans will be desperate to add future number one draft pick Victor Wembenyama to their promising young core.
Around the league: Bucks demolish Pistons, Bulls make it three in a row
The Milwaukee Bucks had their biggest offensive explosion of the season as they erupted in a 150-130 demolition of the Detroit Pistons.
Despite the Pistons putting up 130 points of their own and the final score appearing competitive, the reality is they were never a chance as the Bucks opened up a 40-12 lead just eight minutes into the game.
Led by two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo's 29 points (eight-of-15 shooting), 12 rebounds, and four assists, the Bucks tied for the league's second-highest score this season, trailing only the Sacramento Kings' 153-121 victory over the Brooklyn Nets in November.
The Chicago Bulls also had a good night, tying their longest winning streak of the season by defeating the Atlanta Hawks 111-100 for their third in a row.
In a clash between two teams on the Eastern Conference playoff bubble, it was DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic rising to the occasion on an inefficient night for the recently red-hot Zach LaVine.
DeRozan scored a game-high 26 points on 11-of-21 shooting, adding six assists and three steals, while Vucevic grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds while also chipping in 14 points and seven assists.
The Bulls are now 22-24, one game behind the Hawks (24-24) in the East's eighth seed.
Cover photo: Collage: USA TODAY Sports