Rockets 112, Hawks 106
Aaron Brooks wanted to make the most of his extra minutes.
''Well, there was a couple of us off the bench that really didn't play too much in the last game,'' Brooks said with a laugh. ''The guys who didn't play too much in the last game had a little bit of energy, so we kind of jump-started the starters.''
Brooks had 24 points and 10 assists, Luis Scola added 20 points and the Houston Rockets beat the Atlanta Hawks 112-106 on Saturday night.
Houston overcame a nine-point deficit in the third quarter after rookie forward Patrick Patterson left Philips Arena in an ambulance because of chest pain and congestion.
Joe Johnson scored 30 points for Atlanta, which had a 10-game home winning streak snapped. The Hawks lost for the first time in six games overall.
Kyle Lowry and Jordan Hill each scored 16 points for Houston, which ended a two-game skid and had dropped seven of eight.
But the Rockets won their second straight on the road following a surprising victory Monday at Boston. Houston improved to 8-14 away from home.
Brooks, playing his 10th game as a reserve and 17th game overall this season, matched a personal season high in points. Rockets coach Rick Adelman used him only 16 minutes, and Brooks finished with nine points, in a home overtime loss Friday to New Orleans.
''We didn't back down,'' Brooks said. ''We played good enough defense to get the win.''
Rockets spokesman Bob Schranz said the medical staff at Philips Arena sent Patterson to Piedmont Hospital before the start of the third quarter because it was thought he needed more tests.
Adelman had no immediate update on Patterson's condition while speaking with reporters after the game.
Al Horford scored 24 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for Atlanta. Josh Smith added 21 points and 12 boards.
Against New Orleans, Houston blew a 16-point lead in the third quarter, but that was not the case against Atlanta.
Trailing by nine after Smith's layup with 3:22 left in the third quarter, the Rockets led by one at the end of the period after Hill's turnaround 14-footer.
The lead swelled to 13 on Lowry's 3-pointer with 5:21 remaining in the game. Johnson hit a 3 to make it 110-103 with 11.2 seconds left, but Brooks hit a pair of free throws for Houston's final points.
''We have, in the last two years, been very resilient,'' Adelman said. ''That's what I told them after the game. It just shows that we have to stay with it because we have the potential to keep winning games. But it has to be like this. We have to finish like we did tonight.''
Jamal Crawford, last season's NBA sixth man of the year, finished with eight points on 3 of 11 shooting. Over his previous six games, Crawford averaged 27.2 points.
Houston's 112 points were the second-most scored against Atlanta this season. The previous high came at home on Nov. 7 in a 118-114 loss to Phoenix.
The Hawks were sluggish after playing just once in six days after a winter storm postponed a game this week against Milwaukee.
''We settled, we settled, we did not do the things that have been good to us,'' Atlanta coach Larry Drew said. ''Driving and kicking, driving the ball to the basket. Tonight we settled for a lot of perimeter shots. Twenty-six 3s, that's too many for us. We're not going to win many games shooting 26 3s. We've got to pound the ball inside.''
Notes: The Hawks, who led 58-56 at halftime, fell to 23-3 when entering the third quarter with a lead. Atlanta began the game tied with Miami and San Antonio for the NBA's best record when leading at halftime. ... Houston had six turnovers midway through first quarter.