By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Kevin Porter Jr. left the Toyota Center after a halftime confrontation, according to multiple reports. The Houston Rockets went on to lose to the Denver Nuggets despite an early 11-point lead Saturday.
Porter Jr., 21, departed after a heated exchange in the locker room with assistant John Lucas II, per reports on the incident. He threw an object and needed to be separated from Lucas before getting to his car and leaving the arena, as noted.
Lucas II, 68, called out multiple players, including Porter Jr., after the Rockets were outscored, 47-24, in the second quarter. The player was apologetic for his reaction, according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic.
“We had a spirited debate at halftime,” explained head coach Stephen Silas in the postgame press conference following 2021-22 postgame press conference after confirming the player was being evaluated for a left thigh injury, “I have certain demands of this group as far as playing hard. Making mistakes is different than giving effort. I wasn’t satisfied with the effort.”
Silas, 49, also explained that it was his decision to not play Christian Wood after the break countering reports that his side’s leading scorer refused to return to the court.
Wood, 26, did not start due to violating team rules, as noted by the Rockets boss. He did not score in eight minutes during the first half after being replaced by German Daniel Theis in the starting unit.
After seven wins in a row, the Rockets have lost 11 out of the 13 games, including the last seven. They have been forced down to 10-27.
Turkish rookie Alperen Sengun was sidelined versus the Nuggets with a sprain right ankle and is expected to miss at least one week.
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