NBA Game Summary - Denver at Houston
(Monday, March 15th)
Final Score: Houston 125, Denver 123
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Aaron Brooks scored 31 points and drained the game-winning jumper with 2.9 seconds left to lift the Houston Rockets over the Denver Nuggets, 125-123 at the Toyota Center.
Kevin Martin added 29 points and Luis Scola chipped in 23 to go with 11 rebounds for the Rockets, who have won three straight to tie a season-high.
Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 45 along with 10 rebounds for the Nuggets, who lost for the first time in seven games. Chauncey Billups and J.R. Smith each netted 17 as the Nuggets led for most of the contest, but couldn't hold on late.
Nene aided Denver with 15 points and 10 boards, while Johan Petro scored 11 to go with 10 rebounds in defeat.
Brooks netted the game-winner after Anthony tied the game at 123 on an easy layup with 20.8 seconds left. Anthony had a decent look at a three as time expired, but came up short of the rim.
"I just can't say enough about our team. They battled the whole night," said Houston coach Rick Adelman. "We were so good offensively the first half. Denver did exactly what we said they were going to do at half time. They did it twice against us this season. On this road trip they were down at half time and they had two guys who just take the game over. They came out aggressive and made shots."
The Nuggets mounted a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter, capped by an Anthony jumper with just over 10 minutes left in the game. Houston hung tough and finally took the lead with under a minute left as Scola went down the lane unguarded and converted on a three-point play to give the Rockets a 122-121 edge with 41.1 seconds left. Brooks then went 1-of-2 from the foul line to set up the finish.
"We just didn't execute. The bottom line was that we didn't get back on transition defense," said Denver interim coach Adrian Dantley. "You have to give Houston a lot of credit. They hit some big shots. We wanted the game but they didn't quit and it big shots at the end."
Houston jumped out to a 13-6 edge after a Martin jumper with 8:44 remaining in the first. The Rockets upped the lead to double digits on a Brooks bank shot with just over four minutes left.
Arron Afflalo trimmed the deficit to seven on a layup with under a minute to go, but Kyle Lowery drained two free throws to give Houston the 38-29 lead after one period.
In the second, Denver whittled the lead down to 44-38, but the Rockets continued to drive and score, upping the edge to 16 on a Lowry bucket with just under six minutes left in the half. Anthony drained a jumper as the first half expired, but Houston still possessed a 68-57 advantage.
Denver pulled within 77-75 on two Nene foul shots with 6:34 left in the third and finally tied the contest on a Billups layup two minutes later. The Nuggets took their first lead of the night at 86-85 on an Anthony three with just over four minutes remaining in the third.
The Nuggets led by as many as three in the frame and finished the quarter with a 95-93 edge.
Brooks finished the game with nine assists and has made a three in 38 straight games...Anthony was 3-of-5 from three-point range after having made just 1-of-12 over his last five games...Anthony is now ninth on the all-time games played list in Denver with 499...Nuggets coach George Carl missed his fourth straight game due to undergoing treatment for throat and neck cancer...Houston next plays on Wednesday at home against Memphis...Denver next plays on Tuesday at home against Washington.
03/16 01:56:53 ET