Jalen Green's monster 3-0 week for Houston earns him NBA award as Rockets fight for play-in tourney

Entering Monday, and with 15 games left in the season, the Rockets were 3.5 games back from the 10th-seeded Lakers.

ByMatt Guillermo KTRK logo
Wednesday, March 20, 2024
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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The Houston Rockets were winners of four of five games when budding star Alperen Sengun went down with an injury on March 10.

So, the Rockets' goal of playing into late April as part of the play-in tournament and maybe the NBA playoffs was dead, right?

Not if you ask Jalen Green, who was named the league's Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday.

The 22-year-old guard averaged 26 points a game in victories over San Antonio, Washington, and Cleveland over the last seven days, helping Houston improve to a 7-1 record in the previous eight games and extend a winning streak at five games.

Houston Rockets' Jalen Green (4) celebrates after making a basket against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday, March 16, 2024, in Houston. The Rockets won 117-103.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

Green, a California native named to the 2022 All-NBA Rookie First Team, gave the Rockets the second weekly award of the season after Sengun was named the West Player of the Week two and a half months ago. Before that, Houston last won a Player of the Week honor in 2019.

In a twist, the NBA awarded another Jalen the Eastern Conference Player of the Week on Monday: the New York Knicks' Jalen Brunson, who also led his team to a 3-0 record in the last seven days.

All awards aside, head coach Ime Udoka's squad is fighting to enter the playoffs via the Western Conference Play-In Tournament. Entering Monday's action, the 32-35 Rockets are in 11th place and 3.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers with 15 matchups left. The seventh through 10th seeds qualify for the tourney before the playoffs.

The Rockets did not qualify for the playoffs in the previous three seasons. Houston travels to Washington on Tuesday before a three-game homestand against Chicago, Utah, and Portland.

Houston's final game of the season will be at the Los Angeles Clippers on April 14.