The Houston Rockets pulled out a victory over the New Orleans Hornets 100-96 on Wednesday to win their second out of five home games.
Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, the first NBA player of Taiwanese descent, scored four points and passed out four assists. He made four rebounds, three steals and two turnovers.
The 24-year-old Harvard graduate, who has not been making many of his shots lately, finished with only two for 10.
“It’s just one of those days. Great shots felt good, but didn’t go down, and next game they will. You just gotta move on. Some nights it’s going to be like this. I’m going through a little bit of a rough stretch, but it always turns around,” Lin was quoted as saying on the Rockets’ official Web site.
The Rockets, who trailed the New Orleans side by two points after the first quarter, added 39 points and built a lead of 19 points in the second with the help of James Harden, Omer Asik and Chandler Parsons.
New Orleans played better defense in the third quarter and managed to trim the deficit from 20 to four in the final quarter.
Although Greivis Vasquez of the Hornets scored a three-pointer to cut the gap to 98-96, the Rockets held onto the lead to clinch victory.
Harden, the NBA’s best sixth man last year, who was traded from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Houston Rockets last month, scored 30 points in his 39 minutes on court. Asik added 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Parsons, along with reserves Marcus Morris and Toney Douglas, all hit double-digit scores for the Rockets.
Also on Wednesday, Rudy Gay scored a season-high 28 points and Zach Randolph added 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Memphis Grizzlies extended their best start in team history by beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 107-97.
Marc Gasol chipped in 14 points as the Grizzlies won their sixth straight game.
The Grizzlies outscored Oklahoma City by 21 in the second quarter to take control of a contentious game, which ended with Randolph and the Thunder’s Kendrick Perkins being ejected following an altercation.
Kevin Durant scored a season-high 34 points, while Russell Westbrook had 17 points and 13 assists, as both Oklahoma City All-Stars logged more than 42 minutes for the second straight game as they tried to lead a fourth-quarter comeback.
This time it fell short as the Thunder had their five-game winning streak broken.
In Los Angeles, the Clippers won their fourth straight game, beating defending NBA champions the Miami Heat 107-100.
Blake Griffin had 20 points and 14 rebounds, while Chris Paul had 16 points and 10 assists to lead five Clippers players in double figures. Jamal Crawford added 22 points off the bench.
LeBron James scored 30 points for the Heat, who lost their fifth in a row against the Clippers in Los Angeles and dropped to 2-2 on their current six-game road trip. Dwyane Wade was held to six points — well below his 18.4 average — playing with a sprained left foot that kept him out of the morning shootaround.
Carlos Boozer had 28 points and 14 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls dominated the Phoenix Suns in the paint and won in overtime, 112-106.
Luol Deng added 21 points, while center Joakim Noah had 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls.
Luis Scola had 24 points and 14 rebounds, while Sebastian Telfair scored 17 off the bench for the Suns, who fought back in the fourth after trailing by 18 points.
In Boston, Paul Pierce hit two free throws with 19.5 seconds left to lift the Celtics past the Utah Jazz 98-93 for their fifth win in six games.
Jeff Green and Leandro Barbosa each scored 16 points for the Celtics, while Kevin Garnett added 11 points and eight rebounds. Boston guard Rajon Rondo had 10 assists before leaving the game for good in the third quarter with a right-ankle injury. It was his 32nd straight game with 10 or more assists.
In Philadelphia, Greg Monroe had 19 points, 18 rebounds and six assists to help the Detroit Pistons beat the 76ers 94-76 for their first win of the season.
Kyle Singler scored 16 points, while Tayshaun Prince and Brandon Knight each had 15 for a Detroit team that is off to its worst start in franchise history with a 1-8 record.
The Charlotte Bobcats continued their surprising season with an 89-87 road win over the injury-plagued Minnesota Timberwolves.
Kemba Walker hit a 6.2m jumper over Alexey Shved in the final moments to give the Bobcats their first three-game winning streak since March last year. Walker finished with 22 points.
Andrei Kirilenko had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the depleted Timberwolves, who were without six of their top seven players: Kevin Love (broken right hand), Ricky Rubio (left knee), Chase Budinger (left knee), Nikola Pekovic (left ankle), J.J. Barea (left foot) and Brandon Roy (right knee).
In other games, Chris Kaman had 23 points and eight rebounds to lead the Dallas Mavericks past the winless Washington Wizards 107-101, while Brandon Jennings and Monta Ellis scored 16 points apiece to help the Milwaukee Bucks cruise past the struggling Indiana Pacers 99-85.
Golden State’s Harrison Barnes scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Warriors beat the Atlanta Hawks 92-88.