Let's be honest, you weren't watching the final minute of the Houston Rockets' 102-89 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. Rightly so, perhaps, but as a result, you missed one of the funniest and most wholesome moments of the season so far.
Down by 15 with less than 90 seconds to play, the Thunder brought the ball up the court and Aleksej Pokusevski drove and kicked to Theo Maledon. He missed a wide-open 3-pointer from the corner, a shot no one on the Thunder was interested in chasing down. That gave the Rockets a chance to pull off a brazen triple-double heist.
The rebound went right to Rockets big man Alperen Sengun, but instead of grabbing the ball he simply tapped it into open space. Josh Christopher then started screaming for Kevin Porter Jr. to "get the ball" so loudly you could hear it over the broadcast. A momentarily confused Porter raced in, and Christopher celebrated with an emphatic fist pump. Why? Because with that rebound Porter secured his first career triple-double.
Is this going to actually stand as the 10th rebound for Porter? Who knows. Did Porter, who finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists on 4-of-17 from the field record one of the flimsiest triple-doubles ever? You could make the case. Was this still awesome? Absolutely.
Christopher might have just locked up the teammate of the year award with this play. First of all, this is incredible awareness. Not only did he know exactly where Porter was with his stats, but he orchestrated the situation to perfection by calling Sengun off and directing Porter to the ball. Then the enthusiasm when his plan paid off and Porter got his triple-double was delightful. You can't teach those kinds of intangibles.
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Between helping Porter get his triple-double, and securing a third straight win, the vibes are finally starting to turn around in Houston. They're still just 4-16, but they no longer have the worst record in the league and the winning streak should take some heat off coach Stephen Silas.