HOUSTON — In front of his Texas friends and family, Jarrett Allen had the game of his life.
With his Longhorns predecessor, Clint Capela, injured and not in the lineup for the Rockets, Allen poured in 20 points, a career-high 24 rebounds and three blocks to help power the Nets to a 145-142 come-from-behind overtime win.
“I don’t think we would’ve won this a couple months ago. It shows our progression,” said Allen, an Austin native. “You always get the extra boost of confidence when the family is watching in the hometown. You can ask any player. But for me it was just the extra effort on the glass. They didn’t have a dominant rebounder in there.”
Just four other players had notched 20 points and 24 boards before turning 21-years-old: the Hawks’ John Drew (1974-75), the Magic’s Shaquille O’Neal (1993-94) and Dwight Howard (2005-06) and the Pistons’ Andre Drummond (2013-14).
“They were small, so we needed [Allen],” coach Kenny Atkinson said. “He punished them early. They were switching everything, he rolled to the rim and we just threw it up to him, made them think.”
Drafted 22nd overall in 2017, Allen is second in his class in win-shares and rapidly improving.
“He’s just growing before our eyes. [General manager] Sean Marks did a great job of getting that guy. He’s been growing every year, and he’s going to keep getting better,” said DeMarre Carroll, who had a season-high 22 points. “The sky’s the limit for the kid.”
Rondae Holls-Jefferson returned to the court for his first action since suffering an adductor injury on Dec. 29, he had three points and four rebounds in 7:22. … Backup guard Shabazz Napier was also back after missing Monday’s win over the Celtics, logging 8:21.
Treveon Graham broke out of his funk with a career-high 21 points.
He came in shooting just 17.5 percent overall and 11.5 from 3-point range. But he went 7-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-4 from deep, and grabbed five boards. His most important was an offensive rebound with 39.3 seconds left in overtime that set up Spencer Dinwiddie’s go-ahead three-point play.
“He made huge plays,” Atkinson said. “Even the corner 3. I’ve been telling [people] he’s going make them.”
“The biggest play of the game was TG getting that offensive rebound off the free throw after we missed it,” Dinwiddie added.
The Rockets’ James Harden had 58 points to run his string of 30-point outings to 18 straight, tying Elgin Baylor (1961-62) for the fifth-longest run in NBA history. It’s the longest since a 20-game run in 1964 by Hall of Famer Wilt Chamberlain — who has the top five streaks, including the longest at 65 games in 1961-62.