Notebook: Rockets 106, Nets 96

Posted Feb 23, 2013 12:20 AM

Jake Appleman, for

THE FACTS: The Rockets took the lead late in the first quarter and never gave it back, riding 22 points each from Carlos Delfino and James Harden to a 106-96 victory over the Nets at Barclays Center. The visitors had an answer for every comeback the Nets mounted, whether it was led by Brook Lopez (27 points, 6 rebounds), C.J. Watson (17 points, 5 assists) or Mirza Teletovic (12 points, 9 in the fourth quarter). Playing without a traditional power forward after making two trades before the deadline, the Rockets' floor-spacing lineup shot 16-30 from behind the arc.

QUOTABLE: "Our ball movement was key. Guys moved the ball, got easy shots, and defensively, we played pretty well. But our offense got a lot of big shots, a lot of 3s."
-- Harden

THE STAT: The Nets shot 2-17, good for five points, on second chance opportunities, rendering their primary advantage in the game meaningless.

TURNING POINT: With 4:42 remaining in the fourth quarter, Harden drew an and-1 by making contact with Keith Bogans on a fast break. The 3-point conversion gave the Rockets enough breathing room to withstand the Nets' final rally.

QUOTABLE II: "We kept on crawling back in there, but we just weren't able to get over the hump."
-- Lopez

INSIDE THE ARENA: Jeremy Lin received a rousing ovation during player introductions. Lin (9 points, 6 assists, 5 turnovers) didn't have his best game in front of many fans that came out to see him, but he won for the second time this season as an opponent in New York City.

ROOKIE WATCH: Teletovic had a standout fourth quarter after a nondescript first half. ... Both Patrick Beverly and Donatas Motiejunas scored nine points and made other important contributions for the Rockets, who are waiting for the fifth pick in last year's draft, Thomas Robinson, to pass a physical after being acquired from the Sacramento Kings on Thursday.

NOTABLE: Harden and Bogans were assessed double technical fouls in the second quarter after a confrontation. Bogans especially was incensed by the situation. ... Joe Johnson missed his first game of the season for the Nets with a sore heel. Andray Blatche is now the Nets' only player to have appeared in every game.

UP NEXT: For the Rockets, Saturday @ Washington, Tuesday vs. Milwaukee, Friday @ Orlando. For the Nets, Sunday vs. Memphis, Tuesday @ New Orleans, Friday vs. Dallas.