Rockets 97, Grizzlies 93

Associated Press  |  Last updated February 20, 2012
Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, Kevin Martin added 22 and Courtney Lee hit four key free throws down the stretch as the Houston Rockets held off the Memphis Grizzlies 97-93 on Monday night. Houston led by seven before Memphis went on a 5-0 run to get within 91-89 with 27.4 seconds left. O.J. Mayo grabbed a rebound, took it down the court and finished with a layup to cap that spurt. Lee made a pair of free throws before Rudy Gay's layup with 19 seconds remaining got Memphis back within two points. Lee hit two more free throws and Quincy Pondexter's layup cut it to two again before two free throws by Lowry secured the win. Gay led the Grizzlies with 23 points and Mike Conley had 16. Luis Scola scored 10 points for Houston and Lee finished with nine - all in the fourth quarter. The Grizzlies had won their last two games by one point on tip-ins in the last few seconds, but their late-game magic ran out Monday as their four-game winning streak was snapped. The loss left Memphis without a win in Houston in 11 tries, with its last victory in the city coming in 2006. The Grizzlies didn't make a basket in the fourth quarter until Tony Allen's layup with 5:44 remaining. He followed with another one seconds later to cut Houston's lead to 86-82. The Rockets pushed the lead to 91-84 with just under 2 1/2 minutes remaining before Memphis went on the run that cut the lead to two with less than 30 seconds remaining. Houston opened the fourth quarter by scoring 10 straight points, capped by a 3-pointer from Lee, to break a tie and take an 86-76 lead with about 9 minutes to go. The Rockets led by seven early in the third before the Grizzlies used a 9-2 run to tie it at 63 with 7 minutes left in the quarter. Conley had five points in that spurt. Memphis had taken a five-point lead a few minutes later, before Houston outscored the Grizzlies 7-2 at the end of the third quarter to tie it at 76 entering the fourth. Lowry, who finished with nine assists, scored all of Houston's points in that run. The Grizzlies held Martin scoreless for the first time in six years in a 93-83 win last Tuesday in Memphis. He outdid his performance in that game when he made his first shot - a 3-pointer with just more than 10 minutes left in the first quarter, and had 18 by halftime. Houston's Goran Dragic got hit in the nose in a collision with Dante Cunningham while vying for a loose ball late in the third quarter. Dragic, called for a foul on the play, remained on the court for a bit while trainers checked him out. He left the game but returned just a few seconds later. The Rockets led 58-54 at halftime after shooting a season-high 66.7 percent in the first half. NOTES: Houston recalled F Marcus Morris from Rio Grande Valley of the D-League. ... Rockets C Hasheem Thabeet missed the game with a sore lower back.
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