Rockets eclipse the Suns for fourth straight win

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Rockets eclipse the Suns for fourth straight win

Trevor Ariza and Pat Beverley scored 19 points each to lead the Houston Rockets to their fourth straight win, 100-95, over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday night, local time.

Houston improved to 16-4 by winning for the seventh time in the nine games without All-Star center Dwight Howard (knee strain).

The Rockets never trailed and led by as many as 22 points. The Suns used an 8-2 run, capped by a tip-in by PJ Tucker, to cut the lead to 97-93 with 21.9 seconds remaining.

But Beverley made three free throws after that to make it 100-93 and Houston held on for the win.

Beverley returned after missing six games with a hamstring injury, providing a spark of the bench. He didn’t start as Coach Kevin McHale limited him to 26 minutes.

Eric Bledsoe led the Suns with 23 points.

Donatas Motiejunas continued his recent strong play by scoring 16 points with 11 rebounds for his career-best fourth straight game with at least 10 points. James Harden had 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for Houston.

Gerald Green added 16 points for the Suns and Tucker had 15.

Phoenix used an 11-2 run to get within 92-85 with about 3 1/2 minutes remaining. Beverley scored Houston’s first field goal in more than seven minutes with a 3-pointer about a minute later.

The Suns cut the lead to nine points early in the fourth quarter before Houston scored six straight, including a 3-pointer by Beverley, to make it 86-71. Harden sat out the first five minutes of the quarter to stretch his back after falling hard to the court on a 3-point attempt at the end of the third.

Jason Terry made a 3-pointer to extend the Rockets’ lead to 63-41 early in the third quarter. The Suns took advantage of four turnovers by Houston to score the next eight points and get within 63-49. Bledsoe made the last five points of that run.

Terry gave Houston its first points in almost five minutes with a jump shot midway through the quarter and Beverley made a 3-pointer after a tip-in by Tucker to make it 68-51.

A 3-pointer by Alex Len cut the lead to 80-67 at the end of the third quarter.

Houston led by 17 after one and used a 6-2 run to push the lead to 41-20 with 9 1/2 to go in the second quarter.

At the Palace in Auburn Hills Mich., Hollis Thompson’s 3-pointer in the final seconds sent the game to overtime, and Philadelphia outlasted Detroit in a matchup of the teams with the NBA’s two worst records.

Detroit (3-17) dropped its 11th straight and leads the 76ers (2-18) by only a game. Philadelphia has won two of three since starting the season 0-17.

Thompson tied it at 100 when he sank a fadeaway shot from the right corner with 13.4 seconds left in regulation. The Pistons managed only one point in overtime.

The teams entered with a combined record of 4-34, the second-worst in NBA history for teams about to play each other - with a minimum of 38 combined games. 

AP
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