Rockets’ TyTy Washington Jr. reacts to first career start in the NBA

Houston Rockets rookie TyTy Washington Jr. on Friday called it a dream come true to earn his first career start on the road versus the Golden State Warriors.

Washington produced 15 points, four assists, two rebounds and two steals in the 116-101 loss. He finished by shooting 5-of-12 from the field, including 3-of-6 from 3-point range, in 33 minutes of work.

The Rockets were without their starting backcourt of Kevin Porter Jr. (toe) and Jalen Green (groin) in the contest, clearing the way for Washington to start. He responded with his fourth game of the season scoring in double digits.

Rockets coach Stephen Silas was happy to see him play well.

I’m excited for him. He played a steady game. You wouldn’t have known it was his first start of his career. I’m excited to see what he can become because he can play pick and roll. He can get into the paint and shoot a floater, and make plays for his teammates. I continue to say he is a much better shooter than he has shown. I think he had made nine 3s before tonight and he made three tonight so I have a bunch of confidence in him to shoot the ball.

Silas said this week that Washington would see a larger role on Friday with the team down Porter and Green. One of those two could return on Sunday versus Portland, but Washington could continue to play big minutes if they miss additional time.

Washington first learned that he could start when the team reconvened on Wednesday after the All-Star break. The coaching staff gave him some tips on how to approach starting and Washington put that information to use in the game.

Coach and the rest of the guys in the starting group were encouraging me to use my voice. They’re going to listen to me because I’m the point guard so going into the game, that was my biggest focus on the offensive end: Getting out in transition, pushing the ball up the court and being vocal.

Washington has played sparingly this season, averaging 4.6 points, 1.5 assists and 1.4 rebounds in 24 appearances. However, he logged at least 19 minutes in each of the Rockets’ last four games and is averaging 8.3 points, 3.3 assists and 2.8 rebounds in that span.

Though his first-ever start didn’t result in a win for the Rockets, it will likely be a game that Washington remembers for a long time as he begins his career in the NBA.

“I was excited,” Washington said. “This morning at shootaround when I saw my name up with the starters, I was like: ‘Oh. Wow!’ Everybody dreams about it so I’m just happy to say I finally accomplished that in one dream.”

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Story originally appeared on Rookie Wire