NBA: Rockets fight back to beat Spurs

Houston, Jan 29: The Houston Rockets came from behind in the second half to reduce deficit and overtake the San Antonio Spurs 97-90 at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets had a terrible start, trailing by as much as 15 points in the first quarter Tuesday night. The absence of their top scorer James Harden seemed to cast a pall over the team’s offence. Houston managed to narrow the gap by halftime when the score was 46-39, reports Xinhua.

However, the host team came alive in the third quarter in which they outscored the Spurs 33-18. In the fourth quarter, the Spurs posed a serious challenge and once narrowed the deficit to two points.

But Dwight Howard and Jeremy Lin scored critical points, smashing the Spurs’ hope.

Howard finished with 23 points and 16 rebounds while Lin, substituting for the injured Harden, paired 18 points with eight rebounds. Forward Terrence Jones added 21 points and nine boards for Houston.

Boris Diaw scored a season-high 22 points for the Spurs, and also had 11 rebounds. Tony Parker chipped in 17 points and Tim Duncan contributed 12 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks.

The win helped the Rockets to improve to 30-17 on the season while the Spurs is 33-12. It was Houston’s third straight win over San Antonio.

IANS