Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. Drops 50 Points in Win vs. Bucks After Giannis' Injury

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 30, 2021

Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr. (3) reacts after making a basket during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Thursday, April 29, 2021, in Houston. (Troy Taormina/Pool Photo via AP)
Troy Taormina/Associated Press

Have a night, Kevin Porter Jr

The second-year player absolutely went off Thursday, scoring 50 points to go along with 11 assists and five rebounds in the Houston Rockets' 143-136 win over the Milwaukee Bucks

Houston Rockets @HoustonRockets

KPJ, the youngest player to score 50 in a Rockets uniform. https://t.co/zifnXswTbD

He also hit nine three-pointers in the victory. 

And all of that a night after Porter was fined $50,000 for violating the NBA's Health and Safety Protocols for attending a strip club with Sterling Brown earlier in April and two nights after he struggled mightily from the field:

Kevin Wobter Jr. @WorldWideWob

no matter what happens the rest of his career, Kevin Porter Jr. dropped 50 points the game after getting fined 50k. this belongs in the Gilbert Arenas wing at the Hall of Fame. or at the very least, its own podcast episode.

Salman Ali @SalmanAliNBA

Stephen Silas on Kevin Porter Jr's performance: "The most impressive part is the bounce back from the game he had before." (Porter Jr. had 10 points on 2-12 shooting on Tuesday)

It might have helped the league-worst Rockets (16-47) that superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo played just one minute in the game, leaving early with a sprained right ankle. 

But with or without the Greek Freak, the Bucks weren't stopping Porter on Thursday. 

It's been an interesting two years for the 20-year-old, who wore out his welcome with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this year, as ESPN's Brian Windhorst reported Jan. 18:

"Porter hasn't played and has largely been away from the team this season for what has been termed personal reasons. He was working his way back and attended his first game Friday night when the Cavs beat the New York Knicks.

"That night, however, he had a screaming match with team officials after his locker was moved to an auxiliary area to accommodate new teammate Taurean Prince, who arrived from the Brooklyn Nets with Jarrett Allen in a trade last week. After the episode, Porter was told to clean out his locker and other members of the roster were informed he'd no longer be on the team, sources said."

Days later, he was traded to the Rockets for a future second-round pick.

As a rookie, Porter appeared in 50 games, averaging 10 points per contest and showing legitimate promise. He's built on that this year with the added playing time granted to him by the bottom-dwelling Rockets, averaging 15.2 points per game (albeit while shooting 41.1 percent from the field and just 28.7 percent from three). 

The Rockets can afford to give him minutes as they rebuild in the shadow of the James Harden trade. On Thursday, Porter made the most of those minutes and then some.