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Spurs beat rival Rockets

Dec 29, 2014 - 5:04 AM San Antonio, TX ( - In a game that featured 13 ties and 20 lead changes, the San Antonio Spurs came out on top, 110-106, against the rival Houston Rockets on Sunday.

Danny Green led San Antonio with 24 points and added five steals to help the Spurs snap a two-game losing streak.

Tim Duncan added 16 points and eight rebounds. Manu Ginobili chipped in 15 points off the bench and Cory Joseph scored 14 on 6-of-9 shooting.

"We didn't play well down the stretch. We made a whole bunch of mistakes," said Duncan. "We got a win here, and hopefully that points us in the right direction."

San Antonio hit 21-of-24 shots from the free throw line while the Rockets made just 18-of-31 as they lost their two-game winning streak.

James Harden paced Houston with 28 points and Corey Brewer contributed 25 off the bench. Dwight Howard scored 24 points and grabbed a game-high 17 rebounds.

"Too many turnovers," said Harden, who had nine of Houston's 25. "That loss was on us. And myself."

Neither team led by more than four in a wild third quarter with five ties and seven lead changes. San Antonio held a narrow 85-84 lead through three after scoring six of the last seven points of the period.

After a slow first half, Harden netted 13 points in the third quarter. Harden and Brewer combined to hit eight of Houston's nine made shots in the period.

Howard scored six straight points early in the fourth, and his alley-oop dunk from Brewer gave Houston a 91-87 lead with eight minutes remaining.

Ginobili responded with a reverse layup at the other end of the floor, and that began a 15-0 Spurs run to give them breathing room for the first time in the game. The run was capped by Patty Mills hitting a layup following a Joseph steal.

The Rockets had one more run left in them. Over the next four minutes, Houston outscored San Antonio 15-6 to cut its deficit to two points with 12 seconds remaining. After Trevor Ariza's contested 3-pointer to make it a 108-106 game, Green made both of his free throws with 10 seconds left.

Ariza missed a triple on the following possession to end the game.

San Antonio jumped out to an early six-point lead when it hit its first three shots from the floor, but 3-pointers from Donatas Motiejunas and Brewer in the closing seconds of the quarter gave Houston a 33-28 lead after one.

The Rockets led by as much as 10 in the second period thanks to 10 in the quarter from Howard, but they were unable to hold their lead too. The Spurs scored eight points off five turnovers in the final six minutes of the quarter and took a 56-55 lead into halftime.

Game Notes

Houston had won six straight against San Antonio ... The Rockets are now 16-1 when scoring 100 or more points ... Brewer had 25 points combined in his first two games with Houston ... San Antonio outscored Houston in the paint, 52-44 ... The four-game season series between these teams doesn't resume until April 8.