After a dreadful, 1-16 start to the 2021-22 NBA season, the Houston Rockets have won three games in a row. The third victory came against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday, and Kevin Porter Jr. drew headlines for his first career triple-double. The 21-year-old guard exited Toyota Center in Houston with a stat line of 11 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds, but Porter Jr.’s triple-double attracted the attention of the league office.
In short, Porter Jr.’s 10th and final rebound occurred with approximately one minute to play in the game, and he had some help.
As you can see, Alperen Sengun attempted to deflect the ball toward Porter Jr. and both Josh Christopher and Jae’Sean Tate seemingly conspired to make sure Porter Jr. snagged the rebound for milestone purposes. By Tuesday evening, though, ESPN’s Zach Lowe reported that the NBA took the 10th rebound away, instead crediting it to Sengun as a “controlled tip.”
After review, league confirms Kevin Porter Jr’s 10th rebound last night — with ~1:00 left to clinch Porter’s triple-double — will instead be credited to Alperen Sengun as a controlled tip. Sengun + teammates were trying to help Porter get the triple-double.
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 1, 2021
Ultimately, this may be the right call by the league, and it was openly discussed on Monday that the league might weigh in with this kind of ruling. That is unfortunate on some level for Porter Jr., who has 32 assists in the last three games, but he is talented enough as a player to potentially generate a triple-double without shenanigans in the future. In the meantime, the Rockets will have to take solace in the three consecutive wins, and Porter Jr. may be remembered alongside Ricky Davis in triple-double fame.