The Houston Rockets lost 124-111 to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday night at the Toyota Center, and the final score doesn’t even show just quite how ugly things got for the Rockets during the game. In fact, the turmoil got so bad that one Rockets player even left the arena mid-game.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Houston assistant coach John Lucas called out multiple Rockets players at halftime (when Houston was losing 77-55), including point guard Kevin Porter Jr. and big man Christian Wood.

Porter Jr. had a heated exchange with Lucas and proceeded to throw an object before leaving the arena at halftime, according to Charania.

Wood was reportedly benched to begin the game after missing a mandatory COVID testing window, and Lucas also called out Wood’s “effort level.” Wood then refused to enter the game in the second half.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski and Tim McMahon of ESPN, “Porter became upset after assistant coach John Lucas challenged him, revisiting an issue that led to Porter losing his composure on the bench during the first half, sources said.”

Additionally, the Rockets announced that Porter was questionable to return in the second half due to a thigh injury, but that’s not why he was nowhere to be seen in the second half, according to Wojnarowski and McMahon:

“The Rockets announced during the second half that Porter was questionable to return due to his left thigh being evaluated. Porter has been bothered for weeks by a left thigh contusion, causing him to miss several games, but that was not the issue that led to his absence after halftime, according to sources.”

According to The Athletic’s Kelly Iko, the Rockets have spoken to Porter, and “he’s apologetic for the overreaction.”

Porter, 21, entered Saturday night’s game averaging 13.0 points, 5.9 assists, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.3 steals on the season as Houston’s starting point guard. He was traded to Houston by the Cleveland Cavaliers last January after he had a locker room outburst (about his locker being moved).

Wood, 26, came into Saturday averaging 17.3 points, 10.6 rebounds, after averaging 21.0 points and 9.6 rebounds last season.

So, Porter and Wood are very talented players, and it will be interesting to see how Houston handles this situation.

Here’s a look at how the NBA world has reacted to the Rockets’ drama:

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at