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.


Rockets star Christian Wood reinjures right ankle in Memphis

'I finally can jump': John Wall credits better health for improved shooting with Rockets

Stephen Silas

Jae'Sean Tate

John Wall