Rockets hand 76ers a 5th straight lossFeb 23, 2012 - 5:55 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Houston's Luis Scola had 19 points and 10 rebounds in Wednesday's 93-87 win over the 76ers.
Kevin Martin scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter and Kyle Lowry finished with 13 for the Rockets, who enter the All-Star break on a three-game win streak.
"Those games scare you just because [the players'] minds are on their break going to Tahiti or wherever," said Rockets coach Kevin McHale.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, saw its season-long losing streak reach five games.
The shorthanded 76ers, playing without forward Elton Brand and center Spencer Hawes, were led by rookie Nikola Vucevic's career-high 18 points. Lou Williams chipped in 17, Thaddeus Young had 15 and Jodie Meeks added 14.
"I told our guys tonight it's unacceptable to get used to playing like this," said 76ers coach Doug Collins.
Jrue Holiday's layup had Philadelphia up, 84-83, with two minutes to go, but Lowry responded with a three-point play to put the Rockets on top for good.
Williams' free throw pulled the 76ers within one, 86-85, but Young was called for a charge after Vucevic blocked Scola.
Lowry then struck again, driving hard, making a bank layup and drawing a foul on Young. The subsequent free throw made it 89-85 with under a minute to go.
Philadelphia followed with another gaffe, as Williams turned the corner on an elbow pick but fell out of bounds with the ball. Lowry's fadeaway jumper was off at the other end, but Young knocked the loose ball out of bounds with 25 seconds left and Martin and Courtney Lee closed with a pair of free throws apiece to seal the win.
"It was a tough, physical game with a tough, physical team who likes to grind it out and we pulled the victory out," said Lowry. " Hit the floor a few times, but it doesn't matter. We got the win and we're going into the break on a high note."
The Rockets led 19-16 after one and 45-41 at the break before Chandler Parsons and Scola opened the third with back-to-back buckets for a 49-41 advantage.
The 76ers responded with a 15-5 run to grab their first lead since early in the first.
Williams began the burst with a three-point play and Meeks capped it with two- handed dunk for a 56-54 edge.
Later in the quarter, Scola's layup put the Rockets up, 60-59, but Philadelphia finished with baskets from Vucevic, Meeks and Young for a 65-61 advantage after three.
Houston opened the fourth with a layup from Patrick Patterson and a short jumper from Martin to tie the game at 65 and spark the back-and-forth finish.
Philadelphia hasn't scored 100 points in any of its past 17 games...The Rockets improved to 14-4 at the Toyota Center this season while the 76ers fell to 7-8 on the road...Philadelphia had won its previous four trips to Houston.
- PHILADELPHIA: 87
Feb 22 10:25 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 65
End of 3rd
Feb 22 9:44 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 41
Feb 22 9:06 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 16
End of 1st
Feb 22 8:34 PM
- PHILADELPHIA: 0
1st Quarter - 12:00
Feb 22 8:12 PM
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