In season finale, Jalen Green scores career-high 41 points for Rockets

HOUSTON — In his final game of the 2021-22 season, rookie guard Jalen Green showed why there’s clear optimism at Toyota Center surrounding the future of the Rockets.

Just 20 years old, the No. 2 overall draft pick from the 2021 first round finished his rookie year with a career-high 41 points on 14-of-26 shooting (53.8%) and 9-of-11 on free throws (81.8%). The Rockets were tied with Atlanta in the 40 minutes played by Green, and -16 in the other eight minutes during a 130-114 loss (box score) to the Hawks.

“It meant a lot to end the year strong, especially with the performance I put up (8 points) in Toronto,” said Green, whose historic rookie streak of consecutive 30+ point games ended at five on Friday night.

“I wanted to come back home and put on a show,” added Green, who finished his debut season with six 30+ point games in his final seven.

With the loss, Houston (20-62) secured the league’s worst record this season and the best possible positioning entering the 2022 NBA draft lottery — which means a guaranteed top-five pick to pair with Green as cornerstones for the future. Another possible cornerstone is Green’s backcourt mate, Kevin Porter Jr., who finished his third NBA season in style with 26 points (6-of-12 on 3-pointers), 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.

The Hawks (43-39) were led in the win by All-Star guard Trae Young, who scored a team-high 28 points (50.0% FG) and 11 assists in his 34 minutes. Atlanta will be the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference play-in tournament, needing to win twice to make the playoffs.

Scroll on for highlights, interviews, and postgame reaction.

The Rockets will host “exit interviews” during the day Monday at Toyota Center, with comments by general manager Rafael Stone, head coach Stephen Silas, and select players. We’ll have complete coverage on Rockets Wire throughout the day and the upcoming pre-draft process.

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