Jeremy Lin (林書豪) and the Houston Rockets’ free-flowing offense was little troubled by the Memphis Grizzlies’ tough defense as Houston romped to a 121-96 home win on Saturday.
Memphis entered the game allowing only a league-low 89.2 points per contest, but their defense proved no match for the Rockets’ speed and transition game, which has turned Houston into the NBA’s second-highest scoring team, averaging 104.8 points per game as of Friday.
Lin had 15 points, 11 assists and six rebounds, which was his fourth double-double of this season, while James Harden scored a team-high 31 points and had eight assists, ending Memphis’ four-game winning streak and extending Houston’s winning streak to three games.
“I think tonight we showed how explosive we can be offensively because we put 120 points on a team that hasn’t allowed over 100 since the first game of the season,” Lin said after the game. “This is just a testament to people moving and passing the ball.”
“We know how physical they are,” Harden said.
“They like to pound the ball in the paint and get easy layups. It was our job to push the tempo, get stops and get in transition,” he added.
Harden positively exploded in the third quarter, scoring 13 points to extend Houston’s 10-point halftime lead to 94-78 by the end of the period.
The Rockets continued pressuring Memphis in the final 12 minutes, starting the quarter with a 12-2 run that put the game away for good.
“They were tired,” Lin said of the Grizzlies. “So we wanted to make sure ... that we got the ball out and just run as fast as we can.”
With the win, the Rockets improved their record to 14-12, the seventh-best record in the Western Conference.