Rockets rally late, upend SpursMar 25, 2013 - 5:03 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Harden's jumper with 4.5 seconds left lifted the Houston Rockets to a 96-95 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday.
Trailing 93-89, Chandler Parsons buried a triple to make it 93-92 with 1:19 left.
Tony Parker, who scored 12 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter, then knocked down a pair of free throws seven seconds later to make it a three- point game.
Following a timeout, Harden was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer, but went just 2-for-3 from the charity stripe to make it 95-94 with just over a minute remaining.
Tim Duncan missed a short jumper, but the Spurs retained possession after winning a jump ball. Kawhi Leonard looked to put San Antonio ahead by four with a trey from the left corner, but the ball hit the side of the backboard.
Following another timeout, Harden threw the inbounds pass to Omer Asik, who quickly tapped it back, and Harden pulled up and buried a jumper from just inside the arc.
The Spurs had a chance to win the game, but Duncan bricked a fadeaway jumper, and Manu Ginobili's putback didn't fall at the buzzer.
"(Assistant) coach Kelvin Sampson just told me to take what is available, so I came off (and) the pull up was there," Harden said. "Tim Duncan was playing back the majority of the game, great shot blocker. So the shot was there. The shot that was there was the pull-up and I had confidence to go out there and shoot it."
Harden finished with 29 points and Parsons chipped in 20 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets, winners in three straight and five of their last six. They remain in the seventh spot in the Western Conference, a half-game behind Golden State.
Duncan scored 17 points and Leonard finished with 12 for the Spurs, who lead the Oklahoma City Thunder by 1 1/2 games for the top spot in the Western Conference.
Houston led 22-20 after the first period, but was outscored 26-21 in the second to go into the break trailing 46-43. The Rockets shot 50 percent from the field in the third period to take a 74-67 lead into the final frame.
"I think we're playing better. The last few games have been pretty good. I thought we worked hard tonight, executed pretty well," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. "We were probably fortunate to have an opportunity to win the game."
Harden went 15-for-17 from the free throw line ... Houston scored 20 points off 18 San Antonio turnovers ... Tiago Splitter scored 10 points and pulled down six rebounds for the Spurs, who had won the season's first three meetings.
- SAN ANTONIO: 95
Mar 24 9:27 PM
- SAN ANTONIO: 95
End of Regulation
Mar 24 9:27 PM
- SAN ANTONIO: 67
End of 3rd
Mar 24 8:46 PM
- SAN ANTONIO: 46
Mar 24 8:05 PM
- SAN ANTONIO: 20
End of 1st
Mar 24 7:33 PM
- SAN ANTONIO: 3
1st Quarter - 11:38
Mar 24 7:11 PM
- Spurs-Thunder Preview May 23
- Thunder will try to bounce back after big loss to Warriors May 20
- 24 teams set for NBA Summer League in Las Vegas in July May 18
- Cavs 9-0 in these playoffs, and joining rarefied NBA air May 18
- NBA China to open basketball-themed Playzone in Shanghai May 17
- Defending champion Warriors expect tough task from Thunder May 16
- Capsule preview of the Warriors-Thunder West finals May 15
- Durant, Thunder beat Spurs and return to conference finals May 13
- Spurs unsure if Duncan or Ginobili will return May 13
- Thunder beat Spurs, advance to Western Conference finals May 13
- How many times has your team changed coaches in the Pop era? May 12
- Spurs' Duncan competing with Thunder, Father Time May 12