NBA

Brooks contrite after leaving court

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HOUSTON (AP)

Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks apologized to coach Rick Adelman and general manager Daryl Morey for leaving the bench late in Saturday's win over Memphis because he was frustrated with his playing time.

The team suspended Brooks for Monday's win in Denver, and Brooks was back in uniform for Tuesday's game against Minnesota.

''I apologized to the coaches, I apologized to the GM,'' Brooks said. ''It's just something that's not part of me. People who know me are probably shocked by it. I made a bad decision, bad timing. That was probably the worst thing I could do at that time.''

On Saturday night, Brooks walked to the locker room with 6:45 left in the fourth quarter after Adelman took him out of the game. The Grizzlies led 80-77 at the time, and the Rockets rallied to win 95-93 in overtime.

''I told him that when I took him out, it wasn't just him,'' Adelman said before Tuesday's game. ''The game was slipping the other way. I put, what I thought, were our five best players to turn it around and win the game. And we did.''

Brooks will become a restricted free agent after this season, if the Rockets make a qualifying offer. He said Tuesday he wants to stay with the team, and added he needs to play better and earn more playing time.

Brooks, voted the NBA's most improved player last season, is shooting 36.7 percent from the field and 30 percent from 3-point range this year. He's also fifth on the team in assists (115).

''Right now, my play hasn't been where it needs to be,'' he said. ''I need to pick it up personally. I feel, if I do what I'm capable of doing, what I know I'm accustomed to doing, then everything will take care of itself.''

The 6-foot Brooks has started seven games and backs up Kyle Lowry. Brooks missed 24 games earlier this season with a sprained left ankle.

He's also one of six guards on Houston's roster, and Adelman struggles to spread the minutes around evenly. He spoke to Brooks about his diminished role less than two weeks ago.

''I can't please everybody,'' Adelman said. ''It's not like we're 40-10 here, where it's really simple. I'm just trying to win games.''

The Rockets took Brooks in the first round of the 2007 draft, a month after they hired Adelman. Brooks hopes the incident won't damage their relationship.

''I came here with Coach, and he's given me an opportunity to come out here and play,'' Brooks said. ''I was undersized, and I have nothing but respect for him. I just made a bad decision. I hope we can get past this and move forward and get to the playoffs, because that's our main goal.''

Adelman considered the matter closed once Brooks apologized.

''He made a big mistake, we talked about it, it was the last thing he should've done,'' Adelman said. ''He admitted that, apologized for it, and as far as I'm concerned, we're moving on to (Tuesday's) game. Go from there.''

Tagged: Rockets, Aaron Brooks

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