Rockets’ rally not enough in loss to Hawks
Kyle Korver scored 20 points, including four free throws in the final 16 seconds, and the Atlanta Hawks fought off Houston’s late comeback to beat the Rockets 83-30 on Friday night.
Paul Millsap also had 20 points for Atlanta.
James Harden led the Rockets with 25 points. Dwight Howard had 15 points and 11 rebounds.
Houston rallied from an eight-point deficit with 11 straight points to lead 76-73 before Korver’s 3-pointer tied the game. Following a basket by Harden, DeMarre Carroll’s 3-pointer gave Atlanta a 79-78 lead. The Hawks didn’t trail again.
Mike Scott had 14 points for Atlanta, which earned its second straight impressive home win following a victory over Indiana on Wednesday night.
Aaron Brooks had 13 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, and Jeremy Lin added 11 for Houston.
With 25.5 seconds remaining, the Hawks initially were awarded possession before a video review showed the ball went out of bounds off Atlanta’s Elton Brand. The Rockets couldn’t take advantage, though, turning the ball over on a bad pass by Brooks with 18.9 seconds to go.
Korver made two free throws to push Atlanta’s lead to three points. Following a timeout, Harden drove toward the basket and passed to Lin, whose foot was on the 3-point line as he sank a jumper with 6.5 seconds left, cutting the Hawks’ lead to 81-80.
The Rockets quickly fouled Korver, who made both free throws. Houston couldn’t get off an attempt at a last-second 3.
Harden, who had seven assists and five turnovers, was unable to extend his streak of three straight games with at least 37 points.
The Hawks matched their season low for first-half points but trailed only 41-39 at the break.
Official reviews confirmed Atlanta’s first basket and last shot from the field in the half came after the clock expired. Millsap’s layup, which initially was approved for a 2-all tie, was disallowed when the review showed it came after the 24-second clock expired. Jeff Teague’s layup at the end of the half, which would have tied the game, came after time expired.
Korver made 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions midway through the third period for the first tie at 57-all. Millsap’s driving basket gave Atlanta its first lead at 61-59, and the Hawks stretched the lead to 73-65 with 8:32 remaining.
Mistakes by the Hawks, including a 24-second violation, a missed layup by Pero Antic and a turnover by Millsap, helped the Rockets close the gap. Brooks’ 3-pointer cut Atlanta’s lead to 73-72.
Harden made two of three free throws with 3:50 remaining to give Houston its first lead of the period at 74-73.
Rockets forward Chandler Parsons missed his second straight game with a sore right knee. Ronnie Brewer was the fill-in starter.
Korver extended his NBA record of consecutive games with at least one 3-pointer to 106 when he made his first of four 3s with 9:03 left in the first half.
NOTES: NBA great Julius Erving had a front-row seat. … Howard, an Atlanta native, purchased 35 tickets for the game. … The Hawks’ 10 first-quarter points set a season low for any quarter and was the low allowed by the Rockets in any quarter. … Houston C Omer Asik (right thigh, knee) missed his 18th straight game. … F Greg Smith (sprained right knee) returned and had four points after missing the Rockets’ previous game.