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Sunday February 6, 2011 1:28 AM

Rockets Get Grizzlies In OT

Rockets rally, outlast Memphis in overtime for 95-93 victory

West Medlin
Rockets.com

HOUSTON - From Houston’s second-half resurgence to Kyle Lowry’s game-saving overtime play, there really wasn’t much that could be considered “ordinary” about the Rockets’ 95-93 win over the Grizzlies Saturday night.

The game gave Houston its first overtime victory of the season as the Rockets’ were able to shake off a sluggish start en route to recording a close hard-fought victory.

“It was just a great win,” Head Coach Rick Adelman said after the game. “Our guys really gutted it out. Both teams played hard.”

Houston started the game slowly, digging themselves into a 14-point hole midway through the second quarter.

“We were really bad in the first half. It was a classic return from the west coast, terrible first half, the first home game, textbook,” Shane Battier, logging a team-high 46 minutes, said. “But we came out and played way better defensively in the second half.”

The Rockets began the third quarter noticeably more energetic on both ends of the court and managed to cut the Grizzlies’ 8-point halftime lead to 4 as they entered the fourth quarter. Kevin Martin did much of the quarter’s heavy lifting, pouring in 12 of his game-high 31 points in the frame.

“We realized we played a disappointing first half, especially against a team that is on a back-to-back,” Martin said. “At halftime we made some adjustments and players were talkative in a negative way so we just wanted to go out there and set the tone and that's what we did.”

Houston tightened up its defense in the fourth quarter, holding Memphis to 16 points on 26.7 percent shooting. As the game came to a close, the Rockets had the chance to win it in regulation, but Luis Scola’s 22-footer at the buzzer bounced off the back rim, sending the game to overtime.

Scola rediscovered his shot in overtime, however, scoring the team’s final 6 points and helping Houston hold on for the win.

“He got it going in there,” Adelman said. “It’s crucial. If you get baskets down in the paint like that it saves you because our other guys were getting tired.”

The game wasn’t over until the final play, however, as Memphis had a chance to tie with 33 seconds left in OT. But a Grizzlies miss was followed by an incredibly heads up play courtesy of Kyle Lowry, who grabbed the loose ball as he was falling out of bounds and threw it past mid-court, ensuring that enough time ran off the clock to prevent the Grizzlies from getting another shot off before the buzzer.

“It was a big play for us. A game-saving play,” Lowry said. “I think any time you save a game, it’s exciting.”

With the win, the Rockets are now three and a half games behind Portland for the Western Conference's final playoff spot. Equally important, the Rockets now own the tie-breaker with the Grizzlies who are also fighting for the eighth seed in the West.

QUOTES

RICK ADELMAN

(On the game) “It was just a great win. Our guys really got in and out. Both teams played hard. We had a great possession there at the end when the game was on the line to get the ball. Kyle (Lowry) made a great heads up play but it was just a great win for us.”

(On getting upset at the team at half time) “It happens. It's 82 games. It's a long season and no matter what you say, they're not robots. They're going to come out and no matter how much they try they're going to come out and sometimes they're going to be flat but you turn it around. We talked about it after the game. We can't come out like that. Sometimes they maybe go through it but it helps them later on. It was a win we really needed to get against a team that is ahead of us in the standings.”

KEVIN MARTIN

(On the key to the comeback after being behind in the first half) “We realized we played a disappointing first half, especially against a team that is on a back-to-back. At half time we made some adjustments and players were talkative in a negative way so we just wanted to go out there and set the tone and that's what we did.”

(On him being 15/15 at the free throw line) “With great offensive players in this league every night your shot is not going to fall, especially in the middle of the season. It's going to be up and down so you've got to just keep on attacking and getting to the line where nobody is guarding you. That's just what I try to do tonight and it worked.”

SHANE BATTIER

(On the win) “This was a game where you didn't want to come out because it was a hard fought game. It's one of our better wins of the year because we were really bad in the first half. It was a classic return from the west coast, terrible first half, the first home game, textbook. We came out and played way better defensively in the second half.”

(On Memphis) “They're a huge points in the paint team. That's not one of our strengths defensively. Chuck (Hayes) did a great job of battling and Luis (Scola) did a great job battling those guys and you've just got to hold them off and try to get help from your perimeters.”

LUIS SCOLA

(On the last play in regulation) “I just wanted to see the last shot. I thought I was a little bit more wide open. I was a little bit out of range too. I thought it was good but it slid out.”

(On the game play) “It was a tough game. They (Grizzlies) played well. We didn't play well the whole first half. We played a bit better the second half and from then on it was a toe-to-toe game. It could have been (the game) for anyone, we just made a little bit of better plays at the end and it could have been (the game) for anyone.”

CHUCK HAYES

(On the win) “It was a huge win. Memphis is playing great right now. They are getting better. They came out even though they're on a back-to-back and got us out of sync but we battled, we fought and finally, we got a good win.”

(On the key to the second half comeback) “We were a scrappy bunch. They (Memphis) are so tall. They got a long wing span. They've got athletes and they are one of the best rebounding teams in the league due to the fact that they've got (Marc) Gasol, (Zach) Randolph and also Rudy Gay. We just tried to get everyone in there and tried to get the loose ball rebounds and tried to push it.”

MEMPHIS COACH LIONEL HOLLINS

(On the game) “We battled hard all game and we defended great. We didn’t have our normal juice down the stretch and that hurt us. I don’t feel that our guys had their full energy on the back end of back-to-backs.”

(On Kevin Martin’s play) “He is very quick and has great range. You have to give him credit. He plays hard and he gets to the basket and can shoot jump shots. When a guy is that quick and can drive to the basket the way he does, it’s awful tough to stop him.”

(On the Rockets play) “Houston battled and hung in there and they deserve to win the game.”

RUDY GAY

(On the key to the game) “Houston played great defense. Every time we got a rebound they made good defensive stops against us. Nothing is ever given to us and we let this one get away. In the second half, Houston came out with a different mentality and they attacked us. Between Scola (Luis) and Martin (Kevin) we just weren’t able to shut the door.”

(On guarding Kevin Martin) “It’s very tough. He’s so active and he drives to the basket and shoots so many free throws. I think he’s tops in the league. He’s very unorthodox and that makes him tough to guard.”

ZACH RANDOLPH

(On the game) “This was a tough game for us. We played hard. I thought we could win the game at the end but didn’t’ get it done. We came out with a sense of urgency and really wanted this game and I thought we played really hard. Maybe we were a little fatigued but not too much and I thought we had energy at the end.”

MIKE CONLEY

(On the last play in overtime) “I tried to get some penetration early but really didn’t have anyone open. When I got the ball back I tried to get a shot up and I didn’t get a good look and had to settle with a three.”

(On the team’s play) “We let too many things get to us and our rhythm was slowed down in the second half.”

(On Kevin Martin’s play) “If you touch him, you are going to get a foul. He uses his body so well and goes to the basket and gets to the line.”

NOTES

Houston’s attendance of 18,195 tonight marks the ninth sellout at Toyota Center in 2010-11.

The Rockets recorded a 95-93 win in overtime, giving Houston its first win in OT this season (1-5).

Houston returned from 14 points down for the victory tonight, extending its home winning streak over Memphis to 10 games and giving the Rockets the season series (3-1).

The Rockets outrebounded the Grizzlies by a 51-46 count tonight. Houston has now reached at least 50 boards six times this season (Rockets record: 4-2).

Houston has now won its last 10 games when holding an opponent under 100 points, which stands as the second-longest active streak in the NBA (13 by New Orleans).

Kevin Martin led all scorers with 31 points (7-21 FG, 2-5 3FG, 15-15 FT), six rebounds and three steals tonight, giving him at least 28 points in 12 of his last 13 games against Memphis dating back to his days with Sacramento. Overall, he finished a perfect 41-of-41 from the free throw line against the Grizzlies this season. Martin has now been perfect at the free throw line with at least 15 attempts in a game on seven occasions in his career (four with Kings, three with Rockets).

Kevin Martin has also made multiple 3-pointers in each of his last 10 straight games (.382, 26-68 3FG from 1/19/11-2/5/11).

Chuck Hayes recorded 15 points (7-10 FG), seven rebounds (four offensive) and two blocked shots tonight. Hayes now has seven double-digit scoring games over the last 12 games, which marks a career-best run. His previous high was six games with 10 or more points over a 12-game stretch. He has also pulled down 34 offensive rebounds over the last eight games (4.3 orpg from 1/22/11-2/5/11).


Shane Battier pulled down a season-high 13 rebounds (career-best 12 defensive) and matched his season best with four blocked shots. It marked Battier’s most rebounds in a game as a member of the Rockets (prev. high: 12 done three times, last 1/13/10 vs. Minnesota), as well as topping his previous high of 11 defensive boards set at Indiana (1/23/09).

Luis Scola scored six of his 17 points (7-16 FG) in overtime tonight, marking the highest scoring total by a Rockets player in an OT session this season (prev. high: four points done three times).

Brad Miller, who matched his season-high 23 points (7-7 FG, 3-3 3FG, 6-7 FT) at Memphis (12/3/10), returned tonight after missing the last 13 games (1/12/11-2/2/11) with a sore left knee.

Zach Randolph, who tallied 29 points (14-25 FG) and 19 rebounds at Memphis (1/21/11), had a team-high 22 points (8-14 FG, 6-7 FT), 17 boards (seven offensive) and three blocks tonight. The Grizzlies are now 15-8 when Randolph records at least 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Marc Gasol had 19 points (7-15 FG) tonight. He also had 20 points (7-9 FG) against the Rockets earlier this season at Memphis (12/3/10).

Rudy Gay posted 17 points (7-19 FG), 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. It was just his fourth game this season the notch three or more blocked shots, as well as his third double-double of 2010-11.

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