Harden-less Rockets seal season series over Spurs.
There were seven games on the NBA schedule on Tuesday night, with the Houston Rockets winning a third straight game against the San Antonio Spurs this season.
Despite James Harden being ruled out with a thumb injury, Dwight Howard was able to lead the Rockets to a win with the help of Jeremy Lin and Terrence Jones as they rallied to a 97-90 victory.
Howard had 23 points and 16 rebounds while Jones added 21 points as the Spurs continue to struggle against direct rivals in the Western Conference, although coach Gregg Popovich was limited as Manu Ginobili joined the injured players list during the game.
Houston has now won all three meetings between these two so far this season with one more clash remaining, and coach Kevin McHale was delighted with the way his players continued to battle throughout.
“We just kept grinding it out,” Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. “We changed a couple of things defensively and the guys kind of dug in and got stops.”
San Antonio saw their 15-game streak of scoring at least 100 points come to an end while they also slipped to consecutive losses for the first time this season.
The visitors adopted the “Hack-a-Howard” strategy during the third quarter, but the center was able to make his free-throws which Tim Duncan lamented in his post-game intervew.
Elsewhere, Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and nine rebounds as he helped the New York Knicks to a blowout win over the Boston Celtics.
Currently on a strong scoring streak which has helped the Knicks to string some wins together, Anthony needed just 28 minutes on the court to do the damage, while he also addressed questions after the game regarding his relationship with Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau and recent comments made by his wife.
‘Melo responded by saying he didn’t have a relationship with Thibodeau, while he supported his wife who suggested that he would stay in New York beyond this summer after testing free agency.
“That’s my wife. I support her, I support what she said,” Anthony said. “I don’t think she said anything wrong. It’s a good thing for her to say that. Go get the book though, your wives and girlfriends will enjoy the book.”
The Knicks appear to be heading in the right direction again after ending a five-game losing streak as they are now just a half-game off of the eighth and final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Meanwhile, the Indiana Pacers improved to 35-9 with their win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night, which was a 17th loss in 20 games for the hosts.
David West scored 19 points, Lance Stephenson had 15 points and 14 rebounds while George Hill added 13 points and seven rebounds at the team were able to to cover for Paul George who had a disappointing shooting night.
Center Roy Hibbert insisted that the team was tired for this one as they end a five-game road trip, but with the Lakers struggling they were still able to pick up the win.
In another notable performance on the night, dominant center Anthony Davis scored 30 points in Cleveland to continue his rise to prominence.
New Orleans Pelicans 100-89 Cleveland Cavaliers
Orlando Magic 87-103 Detroit Pistons
Boston Celtics 88-114 New York Knicks
San Antonio Spurs 90-97 Houston Rockets
Memphis Grizzlies 98-81 Portland Trail Blazers
Washington Wizards 88-85 Golden State Warriors
Indiana Pacers 104-92 Los Angeles Lakers