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Rockets reaction: John Wall returns, Jae’Sean Tate scores career-high in rout at Memphis

After resting for planned maintenance on Wednesday’s front end of a road back-to-back, John Wall returned Thursday with 22 points and 8 assists, leading Houston (11-10) to a decisive win at Memphis (9-8). It was quite a bounce-back performance by the Rockets, who were blown out in Oklahoma City a night earlier with Wall on the sidelines.

The Rockets were an astounding +34 in Wall’s 28 minutes on Thursday, which was the best of any player on the roster. The defense by Houston’s floor general also helped to limit rising Grizzlies star Ja Morant to 15 points and 4 assists on 6-of-15 shooting (40.0%).

The Rockets, who have won seven of their last eight games overall, are now 9-4 this season when Wall plays — including 7-0 when Wall plays without James Harden. Unfortunately for Houston, Thursday’s 115-103 win (box score) over the Grizzlies did come at a cost, since starting center Christian Wood left early after reinjuring his right ankle.

Rookie forward Jae’Sean Tate scored a career-high 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting (77.7%), and he also had 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. Houston was +30 in the 31 minutes played by Tate, who (as usual) proved quite valuable on the defensive end of the floor, as well.

With Victor Oladipo resting on the second night of the back-to-back, Eric Gordon started in the backcourt alongside Wall and scored 20 points. Meanwhile, Wood had 17 before his unfortunate injury. Houston led by 25 points late in the fourth quarter before Memphis cut into the final margin during what amounted to extensive garbage time.

See below for a collection of highlights and postgame reaction by Wall, Tate, and head coach Stephen Silas. The Rockets will return to action Saturday night with a home game at Toyota Center versus the San Antonio Spurs (11-9), with tipoff scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Central.

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Stephen Silas

https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1357555064232169472 https://twitter.com/clutchfans/status/1357546868708958208 https://twitter.com/KellyIkoNBA/status/1357546977534369793 https://twitter.com/Rockets_Insider/status/1357548476645715968 https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1357549931297390592 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1357548245317259264 https://twitter.com/AdamSpolane/status/1357552451872829442

Jae'Sean Tate

https://twitter.com/JTGatlin/status/1357547194707021828 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1357556247713771520 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1357555938702557184 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1357557437490995206 https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1357558976423034886

John Wall

https://twitter.com/MarkBermanFox26/status/1357565005445685248 https://twitter.com/AdamJWexler/status/1357564384038518789 https://twitter.com/BenDuBose/status/1357564570060132357 https://embed.sendtonews.com/oembed/?SC=gkrzCB8crn-1140430-7498&format=json&offsetx=0&offsety=0&floatwidth=400&floatposition=bottom-right&float=on