James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored 22 points, and the Houston Rockets tied their longest winning streak against any opponent by beating the Brooklyn Nets for the 13th straight time, 106-96 on Friday night.
Houston blew most of a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter before Delfino hit a big three-pointer with 1:54 left. He later made another jumper before Harden followed with a three to put it away.
Delfino made six three-pointers. Harden, coming off a career-high 46-point game on Wednesday against Oklahoma City, made four threes and finished seven of 14 from the field.
Brook Lopez scored 27 points for the Nets, who played without starting guard Joe Johnson for the first time this season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot.
Deron Williams added 15 points and 13 assists, but shot five of 17 as Brooklyn had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The Rockets have not lost to the Nets since March 13, 2006, in Houston.
Brooklyn missed a chance to tie New York for first place in the Atlantic Division.
After the game Jeremy Lin said that New York will always be special to him because of the memorable time he had last season.
“I miss the fans. Just like how crazy the Garden would get last year, and how loud and awesome the experience was. That’s what I miss the most,” said Lin, who shot to fame last season when he led his former team, the New York Knicks, to a seven-game winning streak.
He said that playing in Houston was very different since he gets less pressure and is not in the spotlight to the same degree.
During Friday’s game, the point guard went for four-of-11 from the floor to score nine points and made six assists and two rebounds as well as five turnovers.
Some fans wore Lin’s Rockets No. 7 jersey or his Knicks No. 17 jersey to show their support for the 24-year-old. However, Lin was not on top form even though he received a great ovation before the game started.
“Tonight I didn’t really play my best game at all, but I learned a lot,” Lin said.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Taj Gibson scored 17 points on eight-of-11 shooting as Chicago routed Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats 105-75.
With Jordan looking on from the Charlotte bench, the Bulls jumped out to a 38-19 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back. Jordan, the Bobcats’ owner and former Bulls star, left his seat with about three minutes left in the first half and did not return.
The Bulls had failed to score 100 points in their previous six games, but found their groove against the NBA-worst Bobcats.
In NBA other games it was:
‧ Raptors 100, Knicks 98
‧ Thunder 127, T-Wolves 111
‧ Pacers 114, Pistons 82
‧ Wizards 119, Nuggets 113
‧ Hawks 122, Kings 108
‧ Grizzlies 88, Magic 82
‧ Mavericks 104, Hornets 100
‧ Warriors 107, Spurs 101 (OT)
‧ Lakers 111, Portland 107