NBA: Grizzlies down Rockets in Memphis

HOUSTON, THEY HAVE A PROBLEM::The defeat left the Houston Rockets seventh in the Western Conference, one-and-a-half games behind the Golden State Warriors

Staff writer, with CNA and AP, SAN ANTONIO, Texas

Sun, Mar 31, 2013 - Page 20

Jeremy Lin and James Harden both had single-digit scoring nights as the Houston Rockets lost 94-103 to the Grizzlies in Memphis on Friday.

Lin was held under 10 points for the fourth consecutive game, scoring eight points on 3-of-9 shooting in 23 minutes.

Harden, who entered Friday’s contest ranked fifth in the league in scoring at 26.2 points per game, was held to single digits for only the second time this year, managing only seven points on 3-of-9 shooting in 27 minutes.

As a team, the Rockets barely shot 40 percent from the floor while the Grizzlies, who won their 11th straight at home, hit on 51 percent of their shots.

“The Grizzlies are going to have a higher chance of winning because of their higher percentage of shots. I think we didn’t do a good job of taking shots tonight. The Grizzlies took entire control of the tempo,” Lin was quoted as saying on

With Lin and Harden sitting out the final quarter, Carlos Delfino helped pull the Rockets from a 15-point deficit to 86-77 with 9:23 left in the game.

However, the Grizzlies pulled away and had a double-digit lead the rest of the way.

Donatas Motiejunas and Chandler Parsons led the Rockets with 16 points apiece, while Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol contributed 21 points apiece to lead the Grizzlies.

The loss left the Rockets at 39-33, seventh in the Western Conference, one-and-a-half games behind the Golden State Warriors and two-and-a-half games ahead of the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Lakers.

The top eight teams in the conference will make the playoffs.

Meanwhile, in San Antonio, Texas, Tim Duncan had a season-high 34 points, including a game-winning three-point play with 2.2 seconds left, as the San Antonio Spurs outlasted the Los Angeles Clippers 104-102.

The Spurs extended their lead in the Western Conference to two-and-a-half games over Oklahoma City, who lost 101-93 to Minnesota.

Duncan also had 11 rebounds for San Antonio (55-17), who won their seventh straight at home. Tony Parker added 24 points and eight assists and Tiago Splitter had 14 points.

Blake Griffin had 18 points, Jamal Crawford added 16, Chris Paul had 14, Caron Butler 11 and Willie Green had 10 for Los Angeles.

With San Antonio trailing 102-101 with seven seconds remaining, Duncan was fouled by Willie Green on a 16-foot jumper. His ensuing free throw gave San Antonio the final winning margin.

Paul missed a seven-foot jumper that would have won the game.

At New Orleans, LeBron James scored 36 points, hitting six consecutive three-pointers in less than six minutes during the first half, and the Miami Heat rebounded from their first loss in nearly two months to beat the New Orleans Hornets 108-89.

The Heat, whose 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago on Wednesday, looked ready to start a new one while clinching the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs. James kept shooting three-pointers after making his first one with 1:55 left in the first quarter, and he did not miss until he had set a season high with his sixth.

James finished with seven threes, one shy of his career high. Dwyane Wade added 17 points and seven assists. Norris Cole scored 12 points and Chris Bosh 10.

The Heat’s Eastern Conference rivals New York continued their good form with a 111-102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats for a season-high seventh straight victory.

J.R. Smith scored 37 points, his third consecutive 30-point outing, Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and Raymond Felton added 18 for the Knicks, who have the longest current winning streak in the NBA. They built a 30-point lead that was reduced to single digits for the second game in a row.

Gerald Henderson tied a career high with 35 points for the Bobcats. Kemba Walker added 16, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 and Ben Gordon finished with 12 to narrow a deficit that was at one stage over 30 points.

At Minneapolis, Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help the cellar dwelling Minnesota Timberwolves stun division leaders Oklahoma City.

Elsewhere, Evan Turner scored 23 points in the Philadelphia 76ers 97-87 win to send the Cleveland Cavaliers to its season-high seventh straight loss and Paul Pierce had 20 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds to carry the Boston Celtics to a 118-107 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.

Also on Friday, the Orlando Magic topped the Washington Wizards 97-92, while the Toronto Raptors outscored the Detroit Pistons 99-82.

The Utah Jazz beat the Portland Trail Blazers 105-95 and the Denver Nuggets were 109-87 winners over the Brooklyn Nets.