Spurs fall to Rockets, lose 136-105
SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Clint Capela had 27 points and 12 rebounds, James Harden had 23 points and 10 assists and the Houston Rockets handed the San Antonio Spurs their second straight lopsided defeat, 136-105 on Friday night.
Chris Paul added 14 points and 10 assists as Houston was able to sit its starters for most of the fourth quarter while holding a 110-74 lead after the third.
San Antonio (10-12) fell two games below .500 for the first time since Nov. 20, 2009 when it was 4-6.
The Rockets entered the game on a four-game skid but the Spurs were the troubled team. Two nights after a 39-point loss in Minnesota, San Antonio actually fared worse against Houston.
“You need to take that embarrassment and bottle it up,” forward Dante Cunningham said during the team’s morning shootaround. “You have to never want that again. That taste has to stick around forever. You just can’t give up games like that. Pride has to kick in at some point.”
Little changed as the Spurs allowed their biggest point total in a half this season and matched the most they have allowed in the third quarter.
Houston scored 70 points in the first half. Harden set the mark by driving the lane untouched with 3.7 seconds left for a layup.
The Rockets added 40 points in the third quarter. Houston finished 22 for 54 on 3-pointers.
DeRozan provided some of the few San Antonio highlights, driving the lane twice to feed Rudy Gay for the Spurs’ first two baskets. Gay finished with nine points and DeRozan closed with five assists.
DeRozan also had six points in the first quarter, including a driving finger roll that gave the Spurs their lone lead at 9-7.
The Rockets went on an 18-4 run beginning midway through the first quarter and raced to a 31-15 lead.
Rockets: Houston’s 70 points in the first half tied its second most in any half. The Rockets scored 76 against Indiana on Nov. 11 and 70 against Detroit on Nov. 21. … Paul returned after a three-game absence. He has missed five games this season, all of which Houston lost. … James Ennis was assessed a technical foul after screaming at an official after he was whistled for a pushing foul with 7:38 remaining in the third quarter.
Spurs: DeRozan is the first San Antonio player to score in double figures in each of his first 22 games since David Robinson did so as a rookie in 1989. … The most points the Spurs previously allowed in the first half was 68 to New Orleans on Nov. 3. … Only Roger Mason Jr., Richard Jefferson and Manu Ginobili have made more 3-pointers after 22 games than Bryn Forbes, who has 50. … Marco Belinelli has 245 3-pointers for the Spurs, the most he has made for any of the nine teams he has played for.
Rockets: Host Chicago on Saturday night.
Spurs: Host Portland on Sunday night.
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