It's fairly rare for two NBA teams to play on back-to-back nights, but that's what the Grizzlies and Rockets will do. On Friday night, Memphis held off the Rockets, 88-87, despite a record setting performance from Chandler Parsons/ Parsons set a new NBA record for most 3-pointers in one half with ten, which all came after halftime. Parsons career-high 34 points were still not enough to carry the Rockets to victory.
His last 3-pointer pulled the Rockets to within one at 88-87 with 1:51 remaining, but neither team would score again. The Rockets forced turnovers on each of the final two Grizzlies' possessions as they forced a 24-second violation and Pat Beverley drew a charge on Mike Miller. But Houston would misfire on their final five shots, including Beverley's off-balance, desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Beverley missed all but one of his 11 shots, while shooting guard James Harden struggled nearly as much finishing just 2-of-11 from the floor. It was his second worst shooting performance of the season and the second time the Grizzlies have held him to under 25 percent shooting. He missed the first of the three games against Memphis, and is just 4-of-20 shooting against them. "I've been struggling shooting the ball all season," Harden said after the game. "I was just trying to be a playmaker and get my teammates involved."
Harden did a fine job in that regard posting a career high 13 assists, but the Rockets clearly struggled to score and Harden along with Dwight Howard, their top two scorers, were at the front of that issue. Howard scored just 11 points, to go with 12 rebounds, as he was saddled with foul trouble much of the night, which has happened in each of the last two meetings with Memphis.
"They played rough, which is how they play all the time," Howard said. "(They) played inside out, did a good job at it. Every game we've had against them this year has been down to the wire. So, we have to come out better and finish better."
As far as the rough play and how that's translated into trouble for Dwight staying on the court, Howard was ready to go at them again on Saturday. "We get a chance to make up for this loss. I like it (the rough play), I don't mind it. Just things have to go both ways". When asked if he things that has happened in the three games, his response was, "Of course not."
About the only thing that has been constant in the three games between the Rockets and Grizzlies is the Rockets have fallen behind, big, in each game. They've faced deficits of 12, 14 and 13 in the three games, yet have come back to take the lead all three times. But on Friday night, it was the first time they didn't still have the lead at the final buzzer.