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NBA roundup — Dec. 26

Associated Press

Rockets 100, Grizzlies 92

The visiting Houston Rockets used a 34-20 surge in the fourth quarter fueled by James Harden and Jeremy Lin to rally from a 13-point deficit in the middle of the third quarter and beat the Memphis Grizzlies on Thursday night.

Harden scored 11 of his game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter and Lin contributed 14 of his 18 points.

The Rockets had a 22-point advantage at the free-throw line. Houston hit 33-of-40 while Memphis was 11-of-20. The Rockets also had a 19-3 advantage in fast-break points.

Memphis outscored the Rockets 22-6 over an 8½-minute stretch of the second quarter, turning an eight-point deficit into a 45-37 lead with 2:57 remaining. The Grizzlies led 53-45 at halftime.

Zach Randolph’s basket off an assist from Mike Conley put the Grizzlies ahead 73-60 midway through the third quarter. The Grizzlies had a 72-60 advantage with less than 2 minutes to play in the quarter when Jon Leuer hit a 12-foot jumper.

Harden hit a pair of free throws to ignite a 6-0 run by the Rockets to end the quarter and cut their deficit in half.

The Rockets rebuilt their lead to 10 early in the fourth quarter, but Harden hit four free throws and then Jeremy Lin connected on a 25-foot 3-point off a feed from Harden with 9:49 to play to pull the Rockets within 78-73.

Lin hit another 3-pointer and then hit two free throws with 7:33 left to put the Rockets ahead for good at 81-80. Lin’s basket with 5:30 left capped the Rockets’ 9-0 run and gave then an 85-80 advantage.

Mike Conley’s 25-foot 3-pointer brought Memphis within 87-84 with 4:39 to play, but the Rockets pushed the lead back to eight points on Lin’s two free throws with 36 seconds remaining.

Randolph led the Grizzlies with 23 points and 17 rebounds. Center Kosta Koufas, former standout at GlenOak High School and Ohio State, added 11 rebounds to enable the Grizzlies to hold a 49-41 advantage on the boards.

Harden hit 22-of-25 free throws en route to his game-high effort. Terence Jones hit 10-of-14 shots from the field to score 20 points. Chandler Parsons added 15 points and 11 rebounds, while Lin and Harden both had six rebounds as Houston improved to 12-4 in home games.

Houston center Dwight Howard battled foul trouble for most of the night and was held to two points on 1-of-5 shooting from the field and six rebounds, but the Rockets posted their third win in the last four games.

Spurs 116, Mavericks 107

Danny Green didn’t miss a shot in scoring 22 points, Tim Duncan had 21 points and 13 rebounds, and the visiting San Antonio Spurs took advantage of the Dallas Mavericks’ weakened frontcourt.

Mavericks centers Samuel Dalembert and Brandan Wright were fighting undisclosed illnesses and 6-foot-7 DeJuan Blair spent most of the night guarding the 6-11 Duncan, who recorded his 10th double-double this season and 768th of his career.

A 12-0 Mavericks run cut the Spurs’ lead to 100-97 with 3:55 to play, but Duncan then scored six consecutive points and passed to Green for a 3-pointer and a 110-103 advantage.

Green was 7-for-7 from the field, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range. Green also had three steals, two assists and two blocked shots. Tony Parker added 21 points on the strength of an 11-of-12 effort at the line.

Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas with 25 points and Monta Ellis scored 23, including nine during the 12-0 run. Blair had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

The Spurs shot 49.3 percent from the field while the Mavericks hit a 45.9 percent clip.

The difference was at the free-throw line where the Spurs had a big advantage. San Antonio hit 35-of-42 while Dallas was 24-of-31.

Besides Parker’s excellent performance at the line, veteran forward Tim Duncan hit 7-of-8 and center Tiago Splitter converted 8-of-11.

Blair had 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting and had 11 rebounds to lead the Mavericks on the boards. San Antonio had a 46-41 rebounding edge.



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