Stephen Silas: Kevin Porter Jr. showing he’s not afraid of big moments

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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On paper, second-year guard Kevin Porter Jr. didn’t have massive numbers in Wednesday’s surprising victory by the Houston Rockets. However, the talented prospect came through when it mattered most.

With the Rockets holding a five-point lead late, Porter rejected a shot by Dallas forward Dorian Finney-Smith before chasing down the loose ball and throwing it down for a dunk in transition. That put the Rockets (14-37) up by three possessions with a minute left, effectively sealing the game for a statement win versus in-state rival Dallas (28-22).

In postgame comments, head coach Stephen Silas and backcourt mate John Wall said they weren’t surprised by Porter’s big play.

Silas on Porter:

He’s not afraid of that moment. He’s not going to back down in that situation.

Wall on Porter:

People enjoy playing with him. I think he looks up to me a lot. I tell him all the time, you’re just as talented as me, you got so much potential in this league. …

My job is to try to help him out as much as possible. Kevin Porter is a great talent. I’ve been watching him since high school. I know how much talent he’s got. And I’m just trying to help him be a great professional, that’s all.

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In all, Porter tallied 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists over 31 minutes versus the Mavericks. The 6-foot-4 guard was quite efficient, as well, shooting 5-of-9 overall (55.5%) and 2-of-5 on 3-pointers (40.0%).

Nonetheless, it was the key defensive play by Porter — and his flair for the dramatic — that proved to be the most impressive and impactful. Like many young players, Porter has had his share of lowlights on defense, but his statement block offered hope that better days are ahead.

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