Fri, Jan 18, 2013 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Rockets continue slump, despite late surge

Staff writer, with CNA

Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, left, goes to the basket against the Dallas Mavericks’ Shawn Marion, right, and Dirk Nowitzki in the second half of their NBA game in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday.

Photo: EPA

The Houston Rockets extended their losing streak to five on Wednesday in a 105-100 defeat to the Mavericks in Dallas, despite a 14-point surge in the final quarter by point guard Jeremy Lin.

Although he made just five points in the first three quarters, Lin came back to score four-for-four from the field in the fourth quarter, including a three-pointer. He also had four assists, three rebounds and four turnovers throughout the game.

Lin tied the game 97-all on two free throws with 1 minute, 52 seconds left on the clock.

Although the Rockets pulled within one point with a minute to go, the team was unable to end their losing streak after Lin missed three other free throws, made a crucial turnover on a poor pass, and the Rockets’ leading scorer, James Harden, added a missed layup shot and a foul, while the Mavericks went eight-for-eight on the free-throw line.

Asked what was missing in the fourth-quarter rally, Lin said: “If I could hit a free throw, that would be nice. They did a great job of protecting the rim, and we got in the paint and had a few that either got blocked or that we missed.”

“I had a crucial turnover trying to get the ball to Chandler late, and so I’d say offensive execution on our part. They also got to the foul line a lot down the stretch, and they were in the bonus and did a good job of attacking us,” he was quoted as saying on the Rockets’ official Web site.

“I don’t want to take any credit away from Dallas. They did a good job of loading and being in their spots. We were a little too nonchalant with our passes. We tried to force it a couple of times. I had a key turnover down the stretch that was unnecessary. It was just a combination of the two, and it’s been one of our problems,” he said.

Harden, who scored a game-high 20 points, said: “We had a very good start and in the second quarter we went on a 15 or 17-0 run or something like that. There are some things that we can control and we have to get better at and be consistent.”

“You’ve just got to make the easy play. We were trying to do a little too much, one extra dribble too much,” he said.

HORNETS 90, CELTICS 78

In Boston, Massachusetts, Austin Rivers won his first NBA game against his father as the New Orleans Hornets beat coach Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics 90-78 on Wednesday night.

Greivis Vasquez scored 15 points with 11 rebounds, while Al-Farouq Aminu had 18 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans, who won for the sixth time in seven games and stopped Boston’s six-game winning streak. Austin Rivers scored eight points against his dad’s team; they became the fourth father-son matchup in NBA history.

Paul Pierce scored 12 points with 10 rebounds before fouling out in the final minutes. He shot five-for-16 from the floor and made one of seven three-point attempts as Boston went four-for-18 from beyond the arc. Kevin Garnett scored 15 and Rajon Rondo had 11 assists.

Anthony Davis had 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets, who were just two-for-17 from the three-point range. However, they have won eight of 12 since an 11-game losing streak that stretched through much of last month.

In other NBA action, it was:

‧ Spurs 103, Grizzlies 82

‧ Thunder 117, Nuggets 97

‧ Hawks 109, Nets 95

‧ Bulls 107, Raptors 105, OT

‧ Magic 97, Pacers 86

‧ Cavaliers 93, Trail Blazers 88

‧ Kings 95, Wizards 94

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