Final Score: Houston 121, Memphis 96
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Harden scored a game-high 31 points and
also dished out eight assists, as the Houston Rockets continued their home
dominance over the Memphis Grizzlies with a 121-96 victory on Saturday.
Harden was one seven players in double-figures for the Rockets, who extended
their home winning streak over the Grizzlies to 13 straight games.
"We just tried to bring the energy out from the first quarter on," said
Marcus Morris scored 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting -- including 3-of-4 from
beyond the arc -- and Omer Asik tallied a double-double with 14 points and 12
rebounds to give Houston its fourth consecutive home victory.
Houston also got a great game out of Jeremy Lin, who totaled 15 points, 11
assists and six boards.
Memphis came into the contest winners of four in a row, but the league's top
defense could not stymie the hot-shooting Rockets, who converted 53.7 percent
of their field goals for the game.
"Up until the end of the third quarter I thought we still had a chance," said
Memphis forward Rudy Gay. "But they didn't take their foot off the pedal."
Mike Conley led all Memphis scorers with 16 points and Zach Randolph finished
with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
After neither team led by more than a possession through the first 17 1/2
minutes of play, the Rockets built a 48-41 edge in the second quarter during
an 8-0 run, which included three baskets from Asik.
The Rockets extended the margin to 12 late in the period following a three
from Harden, but Jerryd Bayless knocked down a 22-footer just before halftime
to bring the Grizzlies within 64-54.
Morris' triple to begin the third brought the Rockets' advantage to 13, but
the Grizzlies came within six following an 8-1 push, with Randolph putting in
a short hook shot to make it 68-62.
However, Harden helped the Rockets create double-digit separation less than
two minutes later. He scored 13 in the period and his three-point play was the
first of three straight buckets, which put Houston ahead 77-64 with seven
minutes remaining in the quarter.
The Grizzlies remained behind by double-figures the rest of the game and
trailed by as many as 18 in third after Carlos Delfino knocked down a triple
near quarter's end.
Three times in the final frame, the Rockets' advantage swelled to 26 points
before Daequan Cook's triple pushed the Rockets' edge to 27 with less than 30
The Rockets improved to 11-5 this season at home ... Houston has won in seven
of the eight contests in which Harden scores at least 30 points ... Memphis
hasn't won in Houston since April 15, 2006 ... The Grizzlies shot a woeful
15.4 percent (2-of-13) from three-point range, while the Rockets shot 42.9
percent (12-of-28) from downtown ... The Rockets turned 19 Memphis turnovers
into 30 points.
12/23 01:42:05 ET
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