Nov 11, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard (12) shoots the ball during the second quarter against the Toronto Raptors at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports
On a night where it looked the Houston Rockets were on their way to a double-digit win, the Toronto Raptors decided to make their lone trip to Houston eventful. A 9 point Houston lead with under 6 minutes left was erased in a span of 4 minutes, that extended the game to double overtime, before the Rockets were able to close the game out en route to a tough 110-104 win.
Jeremy Lin showed his ‘Linsanity’ form, as he lead the way with 31 points off the bench, while James Harden scored 25 points and dished out 10 assists. Dwight Howard totaled 24 rebounds, and added 18 points.
The Rockets jumped out to a 14 point halftime lead thanks in part to a dominant 2nd quarter, where they held the Raptors to 13 points. Toronto scored just 33 points in the first half , shot 26 percent as a team, and 12 percent(1 of 8) from behind the 3-point line. But struggles on offense opened the gate for the Raptors to come back, and they capitalized.
Similar to the Rockets loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, a double-digit 2nd-half lead was blown. Howard missed 6 straight free throws in the fourth quarter, the offense struggled to score, and lack of defensive execution helped the Raptors come back to take a 1-point lead with under a minute remaining. Rudy Gay and Kyle Lowry sparked a late game surge, with Gay finishing with 29 points and 9 rebounds on a rather dismal 11 for 37 shooting performance, while Lowry scored 16 points in his return to the Toyota Center.
The Rockets held an 82-73 lead with 5:58 remaining when Lin sank a long jumper, but the Raptors immediately climbed back, with the help of a quick 7-2 run. Howard then missed a pair of free throws, and Chandler Parsons missed a runner in the lane on consecutive possessions, that lead to a Terrence Ross tip-in to tie the game at 84.
After Harden scored on a layup, Amir Johnson rebounded a blocked Rudy Gay shot for an easy tip-in that gave the Raptors an 87-86 lead with 40 seconds remaining. Harden came back and drew a foul on a driving layup, but only split the free throws to tie the game once again. That lead to a missed 18-foot jumper from Gay which originally resulted in a shot clock violation, as the ball didn’t hit the rim. But after reviewing the play, the ball did graze the rim, and a jump ball was ruled with 9 seconds left. Howard won the tip, but Harden missed a shot at the buzzer that sent the game to overtime.
Both teams struggled to find a rhythm on offense, but Lin scored 5 big points, leading the Rockets to a 95-92 lead with 6 seconds remaining. That’s where Gay came up clutch and drained a 3 with Parsons all over him to send the game into double overtime.
The Rockets then turned it up defensively in the 2nd extra session, holding the Raptors to just 2 for 11 shooting from the field. Lin came up big again, scoring 4 points while Howard dominated the boards. After Gay converted on a 3-point play to tie the game at 104 with 1:50 remaining, Lowry fouled out on the ensuing Rockets possession, and the Raptors were unable to score another point for the rest of the game.