Howard powers Rockets past SunsFeb 6, 2014 - 7:19 AM
James Harden supplied 23 points, while Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones tallied 19 points apiece for Houston, which has won four straight.
"We expect to be a championship team," said Howard. "I told the guys at the beginning of the year it takes time. You can't allow anything on the outside to effect the process of what we're trying to accomplish here."
Goran Dragic had 23 points with eight assists to lead Phoenix, which has lost two straight following a five-game winning streak.
Gerald Green, P.J. Tucker, and Leandro Barbosa scored 13 points apiece in the setback.
"Our defense hasn't been very good," said Phoenix head coach Jeff Hornacek. "For us, we can't have the little mental mistakes."
Houston led 66-63 at the half and the Rockets scored the first six points of the second half for a 72-63 advantage. Green then scored six straight for Phoenix around a free throw from Howard to trim the deficit to four with 8:19 to play in the third.
Donatas Motiejunas converted a three-point play with just over three minutes left in the quarter to push Houston's margin to 12, but Phoenix closed within five, 95-90, after a Barbosa jumper with 22.7 seconds left in the frame.
The deficit was four following a Marcus Morris basket, but Jeremy Lin knocked down a 3 to begin a 10-3 spurt for the hosts. Harden hit a 3 before Parsons capped the run for a 113-102 lead at 3:46.
The Suns got as close as seven after a Channing Frye 3, but they managed just one point the rest of the way as Houston pulled away.
Harden and Patrick Beverley opened and closed a 12-2 run to open the game for Houston. The Rockets led by as many as 12 in the frame, but Phoenix managed to trim the deficit to five heading into the second.
A 16-3 run early in the second gave the Suns their first lead of the game at 46-40.
Harden hit a pair of free throws and a 3 around a Markieff Morris dunk before Dragic closed the half with a pair of free throws.
Houston shot 39-for-71 from the field ... Phoenix made 8-of-30 3-point attempts, while Houston made 11-of-16 attempts from beyond the arc ... The Suns outrebounded the Rockets, 38-36 ... Lin finished with 11 points on the heels of his first-career triple-double.
Feb 5 10:26 PM
- PHOENIX: 108
End of Regulation
Feb 5 10:26 PM
- PHOENIX: 90
End of 3rd
Feb 5 9:54 PM
- PHOENIX: 63
Feb 5 9:11 PM
- PHOENIX: 30
End of 1st
Feb 5 8:40 PM
- PHOENIX: 0
1st Quarter - 11:35
Feb 5 8:13 PM
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