Grizzlies defeat Rockets back to back

Grizzlies defeat Rockets back to back
January 25, 2014, 9:45 pm
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(Justin Ford - USA Today Sports Images)

For the second consecutive night, the Grizzlies defense completely stifled the Rockets offense. With Chandler Parsons unable to duplicate his record-setting effort on Saturday night, Houston was beaten soundly, 99-81. The loss means they merely split the now-completed four game season series with the Grizzlies.

Houston was down just two points after the first quarter, despite scoring only 14 points in the first 12 minutes. However, Memphis built its lead to double figures in the second quarter and the Rockets never put a serious run together after that. Mainly that was because Houston just could not score.

Through three quarters, Houston shot just 21-of-62 (33.9 percent) and had just 54 points. They flirted with their worst shooting night of the season and their lowest point total of the season. narrowly avoiding new marks with the reserves putting points on the board late in the game.

James Harden led the Rockets with 16 points, but also missed part of the game getting ice on his left thumb. Dwight Howard also had his 30th double-double of the season, with ten points and 12 rebounds, but was not particularly effective in this game. That was unfortunately a familiar story for Howard against the Grizzlies this season. He scored just 38 points (9.5 points per game) in four games against Memphis this season.

The game was over when
The Rockets failed to make a dent in the Grizzlies 11 point halftime lead early in the third quarter. Instead the Rockets almost immediately fell further behind. Five minutes into the third quarter, Houston trailed by 18 points and never made a serious run after that.

Highlight of the night
They weren't very many on a night the Rockets scored their fewest points this season. Houston opened the game with a Harden dish to Howard for a slam to open the scoring. Howard scored again moments later for a 4-0 Rockets lead. That would be their largest lead of the game.

Numbers of the night
For the third time in their last five games, Houston shot under 30 percent on 3-pointers. They were just 9-of-32 (28.1 percent) tonight.

Next up
The Rockets will stay inside the southwest division for two more games, facing San Antonio in Houston on Tuesday, then they go to Dallas on Wednesday. Houston is 2-0 against San Antonio this season, with both wins coming in San Antonio. James Harden has been excellent against the Spurs, shooting 60 percent from the floor and averaging 29.5 points in the two games. He's also added six assists and 6.5 rebounds per game. Houston matched their highest scoring first quarter of the season, when the teams met on Christmas day. The Rockets would go on to beat the Spurs, 111-98, and never trailed in the game.