It’s been an up and down season for Kevin Porter Jr., who was dealt from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Houston Rockets in January. Porter Jr. began to rebuild his value with an impressive showing in the G League bubble, but on Wednesday, the NBA also announced that he was fined $50,000 for violating the league’s health and safety protocols. However, Porter Jr. flashed his considerable upside on the floor Thursday, putting together a history-making performance in a 143-136 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Porter Jr., who entered the night averaging 15.2 points and 6.2 assists per game in 22 appearances for the Rockets, started hot on Thursday. He produced 18 points and seven assists in 19 first-half minutes and, if that was the most impressive thing about his showing, it would have been quite a notable performance. The former USC standout wasn’t close to done, though, as Porter Jr. absolutely exploded in the second half, scoring 32 points on 10-of-16 shooting and 6-of-9 from three-point range.
By the end of the night, he had 50 points (on 16-of-26 shooting with 9-of-15 from three and 9-of-11 from the free throw line) and he added 11 assists for good measure.
Kevin Porter Jr. (career-high 50 PTS & 11 AST) put on a SHOW against the Bucks 👀 pic.twitter.com/2n71ScqbgO
— NBA TV (@NBATV) April 30, 2021
Talent has never been the question for Porter Jr., who has the entire package of creation skills that any team would be in search of in the modern game. Beyond that, he is just 20 years old and, with this performance, Porter Jr. set a new standard as the youngest player in league history to reach 50 points and 10 assists in a single game.
Kevin Porter Jr. finished with 50 points and 11 assists, the youngest player with 50 points and 10 assists in a game in NBA history. pic.twitter.com/ga0Qfb0w8L
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) April 30, 2021
Porter Jr.’s explosion should come with the caveats of an offense-first league environment, a Bucks team that lost Giannis Antetokounmpo for the night after less than one minute, and a late-April point on the calendar that lends itself to weirdness. At the same time, nothing about his overall skill package screams “fluke” in this instance, and this kind of individual showing can’t be overlooked.