Rockets edge Raptors in 20T


The Houston Rockets were on the verge of their third straight home loss after blowing a double-digit, second-half lead for the second consecutive game.

This time, guard James Harden said, the Rockets found the will to win.

Jeremy Lin scored 31 points off the bench, Dwight Howard had 18 points and 24 rebounds, and the Rockets beat the Toronto Raptors 110-104 in double-overtime to snap a two-game losing streak on Monday.

“(This game) was something,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said. “We still are a little bit in the mud, but the guys came out defensively and did a really good job. We were grinding. We just found a way to win. That’s just kind of what we had to do.”

Lin shot 10 of 17 from the field and hit 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Harden finished with 26 points and 10 assists.

Howard was just 4 of 12 at the foul line. Chandler Parsons had 18 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Rockets.

Lin was the first player to score 30-plus points off the bench for Houston since Chase Budinger had 30 points against Cleveland on Feb. 23, 2011.

“Midway through the third I was feeling pretty good,” Lin said. “I got in my rhythm. I got a few shots to go down. Everything just kind of slowed down.”

Rudy Gay led the Raptors with 29 points and 10 rebounds but shot 11 of 37 from the field. DeMar DeRozan added 22 points, but he struggled as well, finishing 6 of 25.

Jonas Valanciunas chipped in with 10 points and 13 rebounds, Amir Johnson had 10 points and 10 boards, and Kyle Lowry netted 16 for Toronto, which shot 33 percent from the field.

“I love the way we fought,” Raptors coach Dwane Casey said. “Anybody that didn’t appreciate that, we had 30 more attempts. How many times have you seen that? We just have to make shots. We only shot 25 percent in the first half, and we got back in the game with our defense.”

Pacers 95, Grizzlies 79

In Indianapolis, Paul George scored 23 points and Lance Stephenson had the first triple-double of his career, leading the Pacers to a victory over Memphis.

Indiana became the NBA’s seventh team to open 8-0 since 2000 — two more wins than the franchise’s previous best start. And they followed a familiar script in the battle between last season’s conference runner-ups by dominating the glass, dominating the second half and divvying up top honors.

Stephenson finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists. George Hill scored 13 points and Roy Hibbert added five more blocks to his NBA-leading total.

Spurs 109, 76ers 85

In Philadelphia, Danny Green scored 18 points and Tony Parker had 14 as San Antonio rolled to an easy victory.

The Spurs (7-1) didn’t even need Tim Duncan, who was given a rest in the second of back-to-back games.

Clippers 109, Timberwolves 107

In Los Angeles, Blake Griffin had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Paul added 21 points and 11 assists and the Clippers held off Minnesota after Nikola Pekovic missed a tip-in at the buzzer.

Hawks 103, Bobcats 94

In Charlotte, Al Horford scored 24 points as Atlanta handed Bobcats coach Steve Clifford a loss in his first game back since undergoing a heart procedure.

Celtics 120, Magic 105

In Boston, Avery Bradley scored 24 points as the hosts beat Orlando for the second time in four days.

Bulls 96, Cavaliers 81

In Chicago, Derrick Rose had 16 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with an apparent injury as the Bulls pulled away from Cleveland.

Nuggets 100, Jazz 81

In Salt Lake City, Andre Miller scored nine of his season-high 15 points in the fourth quarter as Denver defeated winless Utah.

Trail Blazers 109, Pistons 103

In Portland, Damian Lillard scored 25 points, making five 3-pointers, and the Trail Blazers held off Detroit.

LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 13 points in the second half.