It’s only January, but apparently, it wasn’t too early for the Houston Rockets to find themselves in a playoff-type game, as the Atlanta Hawks were able to grind out a 83-80 win.
Playing without Chandler Parsons for the 2nd straight game, James Harden led the way for the Rockets with 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists, while Dwight Howard finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Kyle Korver would extend his record-breaking 3-point streak to 106 games, and finished with 20 points. Paul Millsap added 20 points as well, and Mike Scott scored 14 points off the Hawks’ bench.
The Rockets got off to a quick 11-0 run to begin the game, and held the Hawks to just 23 percent shooting(5 for 22) in the 1st quarter. Leading 18-10 going into the 2nd, Scott came off the bench to score 12 points, while the Hawks found their rhythm by shooting 57 percent(12 for 21) from the field. Millsap hit 2 3′s in the final 2 minutes of the 1st half, helping to spark a 13-4 run to close the Rockets lead to 41-39 at halftime.
|Dwight Howard, PF||37||7-11||0-0||1-2||4||7||11||1||1||2||1||4||+7||15|
|Terrence Jones, PF||27||3-10||0-1||0-0||3||5||8||2||1||0||0||0||0||6|
|Ronnie Brewer, SF||25||0-2||0-0||0-0||0||2||2||1||0||0||1||0||+2||0|
|Jeremy Lin, PG||39||3-8||1-4||4-4||0||4||4||1||0||0||4||3||+2||11|
|James Harden, SG||38||6-14||2-3||11-14||0||7||7||7||0||0||5||1||+3||25|
|Donatas Motiejunas, PF||7||2-5||0-1||0-0||1||4||5||1||0||0||2||2||-6||4|
|Greg Smith, PF||10||2-2||0-0||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||-10||4|
|Omri Casspi, SF||6||0-2||0-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Aaron Brooks, PG||27||5-9||3-5||0-2||1||2||3||1||0||0||2||5||-8||13|
|Francisco Garcia, SG||23||1-7||0-4||0-0||0||1||1||1||1||0||1||3||-5||2|
|Isaiah Canaan, PG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 8
Points in the paint: 42
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 18 (16)
|Paul Millsap, PF||32||8-18||2-6||2-3||4||3||7||5||1||1||3||3||+1||20|
|DeMarre Carroll, SF||34||1-9||1-6||2-2||1||4||5||2||1||0||0||3||-6||5|
|Pero Antic, C||22||2-8||0-3||0-0||1||2||3||0||0||0||3||4||-11||4|
|Jeff Teague, PG||33||2-12||1-6||2-2||1||2||3||4||2||0||1||2||0||7|
|Kyle Korver, SG||37||6-11||4-7||4-4||2||3||5||2||3||1||3||1||-6||20|
|Mike Scott, PF||18||7-10||0-1||0-0||0||2||2||3||2||0||0||0||+2||14|
|Elton Brand, PF||24||0-4||0-0||0-0||4||7||11||0||0||3||2||3||+14||0|
|Shelvin Mack, PG||15||3-7||1-2||0-0||0||1||1||1||0||0||0||1||+3||7|
|Louis Williams, SG||25||3-7||0-1||0-0||0||3||3||8||0||0||0||0||+18||6|
|Gustavo Ayon, PF||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
|Dennis Schroder, PG||DNP COACH’S DECISION|
Fast break points: 20
Points in the paint: 32
Total Team Turnovers (Points off turnovers): 14 (14)
Turnovers became a huge momentum killer in the 2nd half for the Rockets, as they committed 5 turnovers in the 3rd quarter, and 5 more in their first 6 possessions of the 4th quarter as the Hawks took a 73-67 lead with 7 minutes remaining.
Coach Kevin McHale would then adjust his lineup to go ultra-small with Francisco Garcia playing the power forward spot, and Aaron Brooks, Jeremy Lin, and Harden all in the game at the same time. The move would help the Rockets go on a 9-0 run before Korver drained a 3 to tie the game at 76 with under 3 minutes left.
DeMarre Carroll then made his only field goal of the game, draining a 3-pointer with 1:55 left to put the Hawks up 79-78 before both teams would battle it out defensively.
After a pair of Korver free throws with 15 seconds left, Lin sank a jumper from the right corner that appeared to be a 3-pointer at first, but the replay showed that his right foot was over the line, and the Hawks still held on to a 81-80 lead with 5 seconds left. Korver made 2 more free throws and Lin wasn’t able to get off a shot in the final seconds.