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Kevin Porter Jr. pulls off miracle shot over two Jazz defenders

Rockets, Kevin Porter

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. has already experienced an up-and-down start to his NBA career. On Friday night against the Utah Jazz, though, he had himself a moment.

Selected 30th overall in the 2019 NBA Draft by the Milwaukee Bucks and immediately flipped to Cleveland, the Cavaliers shipped him off in January after 50 games and three starts last season — in which he averaged 10.0/3.2/2.2 in 23.2 minutes per game.

First-year Rockets coach Stephen Silas punted Porter to G-League affiliates in the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, where Porter powered his way to 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game in 15 outings. Called up directly after the 2021 All-Star Break, Porter scored 13 points with 10 assists and five rebounds in his Rockets debut on March 11 at Sacramento.

In Friday night’s 114-99 road loss at the Utah Jazz, Porter popped off again, finishing this circus layup on his way to a team-high 27 points on 11-for-25 shooting. He added eight assists and three rebounds with just three rebounds, matching Jazz star guard Donovan Mitchell (28 points, 9-for-23 shooting) point-for-point.

From FortyEightMinutes Sam Amico:

“He obviously is very talented, he’s versatile on both ends of the floor. He can do a lot on the basketball court. We feel like we have the structure in place to let him be successful. … It’s up to us to have honest conversations, back and forth, and develop a relationship. But it’s an exciting thing, to have a young guy who has potential.”

— Houston HC Stephen Silas

The former University of Southern California star, indeed, has potential. And after shipping off Russell Westbrook, James Harden, DeMarcus Cousins and P.J. Tucker — and rumors swirling around elite guard Victor Oladipo — the Rockets could use any pop they can get.