Rockets 95, Grizzlies 93, OT
The sense of urgency is starting to set in for the Houston Rockets.
Far down in the Western Conference standings, the Rockets treated Saturday night's game against Memphis like a playoff game, and the extra emphasis helped carry them to their first victory in six overtime games this season.
Kevin Martin scored 31 points, including 15-for-15 shooting from the free-throw line, in the Rockets' 95-93 win over the Grizzlies.
Luis Scola scored six of his 17 points in the extra period and Shane Battier grabbed a season-high 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who've won their last 10 games when holding their opponent below 100 points.
''It was just a great win,'' Houston coach Rick Adelman said. ''It was a win we really needed to get against a team that is ahead of us in the standings.''
Zach Randolph scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.
Memphis coach Lionel Hollins said his team was tired at the end after playing at home on Friday night. Memphis is 7-8 in the second game of back-to-back sets this year.
''We didn't have our normal juice down the stretch, and that hurt us,'' Hollins said. ''I don't feel that our guys have their full energy on the back end of back-to-backs.''
The Rockets rallied from 14 points down in the second quarter, and the game was tied 87-all at the end of regulation.
Scola scored twice in the first three minutes of the extra period to put the Rockets up 93-91. Randolph flipped in a turnaround shot with 55 seconds left to tie it again, but Scola gave Houston the lead with a scooping layup with 33 seconds remaining.
Mike Conley missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds. Houston point guard Kyle Lowry saved the ball from going out of bounds and heaved it toward the other end of the court as the buzzer sounded.
The Grizzlies slipped a half-game behind Portland in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. The Rockets are 3 1/2 games behind the Blazers.
''We needed this game, big-time,'' Scola said. ''This team is right ahead of us, or one of them. If you want to be in the playoffs, you need to beat them. It's a game that we wanted.''
Rudy Gay had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Marc Gasol scored 19 for the Grizzlies, who were outrebounded 51-46 and mustered only 16 points in the fourth quarter.
Memphis led most of the way, and Gay was disappointed that the Grizzlies couldn't finish the way they started.
''Nothing is ever given to us,'' he said. ''We let this one get away.''
Greivis Vasquez banked in a straight-on shot from just inside midcourt at the first-quarter buzzer to give the Grizzlies a 26-20 lead.
Brad Miller started the second quarter for Houston, returning to action after missing 14 games with soreness in his left knee.
Memphis stretched the lead to 14 in the second quarter, as the Rockets continued to misfire. They went 8 for 23 in the first quarter, then missed 5 of their first 8 shots in the second.
Randolph scored 10 points and grabbed five rebounds in the quarter and the Grizzlies led 51-43 at the break. Adelman sharply criticized his team during halftime, and the players responded.
Martin opened the third quarter with a three-point play and his first 3-pointer to quickly cut the deficit to two. Martin sank two free throws with 5:01 left in the quarter, and Hayes drove past Randolph for a hook shot to put Houston ahead 63-61.
''We realized we played a disappointing first half,'' Martin said. ''At halftime, we made some adjustments and the players were talkative, in a negative way. We just wanted to go out there and set the tone, and that's what we did.''
Memphis finished the quarter with a 10-2 run, capped by Darrell Arthur's dunk with 30 seconds left, to take a 71-67 lead to the fourth. Houston scored the first six points of the fourth to take a two-point lead.
Neither team led by more than three in the final seven minutes, and Lowry's free throw with 1:22 left tied it at 87-all.
Gasol missed from close range with about 25 seconds left, and the Rockets corraled the loose ball. Scola missed a long jumper just before the buzzer and the game went to overtime.
NOTES: Martin reached 30 points for the 11th time this season. ... The Grizzlies dropped to 20-6 when leading after three quarters. ... Memphis has held its opponent under 100 points in 32 games this season. ... Randolph has 37 double-doubles this season. ... Rockets C/F Jordan Hill sat out for the second straight game with a sprained left ankle.