Martin helps Rockets beat HawksJan 1, 2012 - 4:43 AM
Luis Scola scored 21 points and grabbed seven boards, while Chase Budinger finished with 17 points for the Rockets, who have alternated wins and losses in their first four games of the season.
"The game got a little tough," Scola said. "We kind of let them back in, but once we got a 10-point lead, we kind of had the game under control."
Despite scoring only two points, Kyle Lowry dished out a career-high 18 assists. Jordan Hill ripped down a career-high 15 boards to go with 11 points.
Al Horford and Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 15 points apiece, while Tracy McGrady had 13 points and six boards off the bench, and Josh Smith had 12 and seven boards for Atlanta, which lost for the first time this year.
Houston exploded out of the gate, hitting five of its first seven shots to take a 14-5 lead with 8:18 left in the opening quarter.
A running hook shot by Scola put Houston up 11, 22-11, with 6:03 remaining in the frame and a jumper by Martin gave the Rockets their largest lead of the quarter at 12, 27-15. The Rockets led 31-22 after the first 12 minutes of play. Scola netted 10 points in the quarter for Houston.
A driving layup by Goran Dragic early in the second frame put the Rockets up 12, 36-24, but Atlanta used a 9-2 run to close the gap to five with 4:54 left in the third quarter.
A trey by Martin snapped the run, putting the Rockets back up eight, 41-33 with 4:39 to go before halftime.
A three-point play by Horford with 1:41 to go pulled the Hawks within three, 43-40, but another trey by Martin on Houston's next possession restored a six- point advantage for the Rockets. They led by seven, 51-44 at the break.
Houston shot 40 percent from the floor and 3-of-4 from three-point range in the third stanza. A layup by Scola with under 3 1/2 minutes left in the frame gave the Rockets their largest lead of the night at 17, 70-53. They led by 12, 72-60 after three quarters.
Atlanta cut the deficit to as few as seven in the fourth, but the Hawks didn't get any closer.
"We didn't execute and couldn't finish plays when we were right there," Hawks head coach Larry Drew said. "They came down and made shots and the lead went back up."
Houston leads the all-tine series with Atlanta, 71-69, and has won the past three meetings between the teams...Houston shot 46 percent from the floor and 47 percent from three-point range, while Atlanta shot 44 percent from the floor and 4-of-16 from beyond the arc...Rockets center Samuel Dalembert finished with seven points and 10 rebounds...Houston outrebounded Atlanta, 45-40...Rockets 2011 first-round draft pick Marcus Morris did not play...Atlanta was held under 100 points for the first time this season.
- ATLANTA: 84
Dec 31 9:09 PM
- ATLANTA: 60
End of 3rd
Dec 31 8:43 PM
- ATLANTA: 44
Dec 31 8:05 PM
- ATLANTA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Dec 31 7:11 PM
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