Rockets beat Suns by 30Mar 14, 2013 - 5:20 AM
James Harden chipped in 18 points for Houston, which avenged Saturday's two- point loss at Phoenix.
"D-Mo played well tonight," said Houston head coach Kevin McHale. "I was happy for him. After a couple of stints where he got in foul trouble a little early in a couple of games, it was nice to see him get a little rhythm. Overall, that was a good game for us. We defended well and did some good stuff."
Wesley Johnson had 15 points to pace the Suns, who have lost four of their last five -- the only win coming against Houston.
"That's probably the first time I felt we didn't compete as a unit and that is just unacceptable," said Phoenix head coach Lindsay Hunter. "It's embarrassing. These are the situations you get put in when you really find out who's going to be with you and who isn't. Nothing is promised for none of us here so our guys have to compete like everyday is our last and I didn't see that tonight."
The Rockets began pulling away late in the second quarter, as they scored 20 of the final 22 points to take a 58-45 lead into the break.
Phoenix led, 43-38 midway through the second before the start of the game- altering run, which began with a string of 15 straight points capped by an Omer Asik dunk.
Markieff Morris briefly stopped the run with a layup, but Harden's deuce and 3-pointer inside the final minute had the Rockets comfortably ahead at halftime.
The margin was cut to 11 before 13 consecutive Rockets points -- seven coming from Motiejunas -- essentially put the game away.
Greg Smith's slam put the exclamation point on the five-minute stretch for an 80-56 cushion, and Houston's 90-62 lead heading to the fourth was never threatened in the final 12 minutes.
The teams combined for 45 turnovers, 23 coming from Houston ... The Rockets made 10 3-pointers ... Asik scored 14 points, while Jeremy Lin (13), Thomas Robinson (12) and Chandler Parsons (11) rounded out Houston's top scorers ... Luis Scola, who spent his first five seasons with the Rockets before they designated him as their amnesty player last year, had four points for the Suns ... Phoenix was outscored in the paint, 50-32 and had four second-chance points to Houston's 19.
- PHOENIX: 81
Mar 13 10:17 PM
- PHOENIX: 62
End of 3rd
Mar 13 9:52 PM
- PHOENIX: 45
Mar 13 9:11 PM
- PHOENIX: 25
End of 1st
Mar 13 8:36 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
1st Quarter - 11:43
Mar 13 8:11 PM
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