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Kevin Porter Jr. working to make up for lost time with Rockets

HOUSTON — As the morning shootaround concluded for the Rockets, a familiar face was seen running off the court before he realized that media members were waiting on him to speak.

“Oh, y’all waiting on me,” Rockets point guard Kevin Porter Jr. said with a smile. “My bad. I was just excited to be back on the court.”

Porter missed Thursday’s game against the Indiana Pacers due to a bruised thigh he suffered in the previous game. He is probable in Saturday’s matchup against the visiting Chicago Bulls.

“It was definitely frustrating,” Porter said at Toyota Center. “I want to play as much as I can. Missing those 20 games (toe injury)… I want to get back as many games as I missed. Injuries are a part of the game, and you just kind of have to react and put in work after it happens.”

On the season, Houston is 3-19 (.136) without Porter, which equates to a win pace of only 11 games over a full 82-game campaign. With Porter, they entered Saturday at a much more respectable 12-32 (.273) clip, which translates to a win pace of more than 22 games.

After Porter’s March 1 return from the left foot contusion, the Rockets went 2-2 over their next four games before this latest injury.

One person that has been able to keep Porter’s spirits up during his battles with injuries has been head coach Stephen Silas.

“We communicate all the time,” Silas said after Wednesday’s practice. “We have to talk through these moments and make sure he has someone to bounce his feelings off of. It isn’t always a comfortable conversation, but it is necessary. Adversity is hard for everyone, not just for basketball players. My position is to be somebody he can talk to and help through these moments makes me feel good, but hopefully makes him feel good as well.”

Since his return on March 1, Porter has averaged 12.3 points, 6.8 assists, and 5.8 rebounds per game. If Porter can play Saturday, he will try and duplicate the season-high, 36-point performance that he had against the Bulls in a 133-118 victory at Chicago in late December.

“When I look back on that film, that was probably one of my most freelanced games, where I was just out there hooping,” Porter said when asked about his takeaways from that game in Chicago.

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Story originally appeared on Rockets Wire