Rockets 93, 76ers 87
Kyle Lowry had a scraped right forearm, a sore right ankle and a
smile on his face after the Houston Rockets pulled out a grinding
victory over his hometown team on Wednesday night.
Lowry scored 13 points and converted two crucial three
point-plays in the final two minutes of the Rockets’ 93-87 win over
the Philadelphia 76ers, Houston’s third straight victory.
The Philly native and former Villanova star took hard shots on
both drives, but the points turned out to be the margin of victory
in both teams’ final game before the All-Star break.
”I hit the floor a few times but it doesn’t matter, we got the
win,” said Lowry, who briefly left in the first quarter after
spraining his right ankle.
Luis Scola had 19 points and 10 rebounds and Kevin Martin scored
16 points for Houston, which snapped a four-game home-court losing
streak to Philadelphia.
The Rockets head into the break at 20-14, and in much better
shape than last season, when they were five games under .500 at
”I’m never going to say we’re overachieving, or
underachieving,” Lowry said. ”I think we’re a good team, and I
think we’re going where we’re supposed to be going.”
The 76ers, meanwhile, are limping into the break on a five-game
losing streak, and their top two rebounders – Spencer Hawes (left
Achilles strain) and Elton Brand (right thumb sprain) are out
”I would say that we’d be happy to be where we are now, when
the season started,” Andre Iguodala said. ”We put ourselves in
position to be one of the top teams in our division. We are where
we want to be, but not playing the way we want to now. Every team
is going through tough stretches like this.”
Nikola Vucevic scored a career-high 18 points and Thaddeus Young
had 15 for the 76ers, who lost for only the second time in their
past nine meetings with Houston.
Philly was held without a 3-pointer for the first time this
season, missing all nine attempts. The Rockets went 5 for 18 from
3-point range, with all but one of the makes coming in the second
The lead changed hands five times in the final five minutes
before Lowry drove into Vucevic for a layup, drew the foul and made
the free throw for an 86-84 lead.
Louis Williams made a free throw with 1:38 remaining, but Lowry
then converted another three-point play, drawing a foul on Young
this time, with 59 seconds left to make it 89-85.
Williams slipped on the baseline in front of the Houston bench,
the 76ers’ 13th turnover, and the Rockets hit their free throws in
the last minute to preserve the victory.
”Good thing we won,” Martin said. ”That would’ve been a bad
loss for us. We played with a little bit of fire.”
Lowry also had eight rebounds and Chandler Parsons scored 12
points for the Rockets. Williams scored 17 points for the
Both teams shot poorly early, and neither had scored 10 points
midway through the first quarter. Lowry left four minutes into the
game after stepping on Scola’s foot, and he limped to the locker
room with athletics trainer Keith Jones.
Houston found its shooting touch first and took a 19-16 lead.
Lowry returned to the bench with Jones in the last minute of the
quarter, and was back on the floor for the start of the second.
The Rockets picked up the offensive pace in the third quarter,
stretching the lead to eight points. The 76ers attacked Houston’s
small lineup inside, answering with a 10-0 run that gave them a
Houston went cold late in the third quarter, and mustered only
16 points on 7-for-17 shooting. The 76ers scored 14 of their 24
third-quarter points in the paint and led 65-61 heading to the
Martin swished back-to-back 3-pointers near the nine-minute mark
to keep Houston within three. After Thaddeus Young scored inside,
Martin hit another 3 and Patrick Patterson scored to tie it at
Notes: The Rockets have won 24 consecutive games when holding
their opponent to less than 90 points. … Lowry missed his first
free-throw attempt, after making his previous 25. … The 76ers
dropped to 7-2 in the second game of back-to-back sets this season.
… Philly coach Doug Collins couldn’t give a timetable for Hawes’
return from a left Achilles strain. Collins said Hawes will visit a
doctor in Los Angeles during the All-Star break and wear a