Wednesday, December 19, 8:00 PM (EST) at Toyota Center, Houston, TX
Matt Miller, for NBA.com
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:55 PM - Updated Wed Dec 19, 2012 11:55 PM
THE FACTS: With James Harden and Jeremy Lin finally clicking at the same time, the Houston Rockets' offense seems nearly impossible to contain. Just ask the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harden scored 17 of his game-high 33 points at the free-throw line, while Lin added 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting and six assists as the Rockets rode a season-high 56.0 percent (42-for-75) shooting effort to a 125-103 rout of Philadelphia on Wednesday at Toyota Center. Omer Asik (17 points, 15 rebounds) posted his 11th double-double of the season, and Toney Douglas made five of eight 3-point attempts for Houston (13-12), which has won three consecutive home games and four of its last five overall.
Nick Young led the Sixers (12-14), who lost their fifth game in a row overall and on the road, with 21 points.Dorell Wright chipped in 20 points, six assists and six boards, but it was hardly enough for a Philadelphia team that allowed more points than it had all season.
QUOTABLE: "We were both just playing off of each other. ... We were in a good rhythm today for sure. He attacked and I attacked, and that's how we like it."
-- Lin on meshing with Harden.
THE STAT: Houston has buried at least 51.3 percent of its field goal attempts and poured in at least 52 points in the paint in back-to-back games thanks to Lin and Harden's aggressive penetration and ball movement. The Rockets' starting backcourt has combined for 25.5 points on 57.9 percent (33-for-57) shooting and 12.0 assists per game over the last two contests.
TURNING POINT: The Sixers remained within striking distance, trailing 98-90 more than four minutes into the fourth quarter, until the Rockets held Philadelphia to just two baskets over the next four minutes. Houston's success on the defensive end sparked a 17-5 run that gave it an insurmountable 115-95 lead with 3:48 remaining.
QUOTABLE II: "We hung in there for about as long as we could. We just couldn't get any stops."
-- Sixers coach Doug Collins
HOT: The Rockets, who attempted 36 free throws against Philadelphia, have shot at least 26 free throws in 10 of their last 14 games. Houston has averaged 28.1 attempts from the charity stripe during this period.
NOT: Rockets forward Chandler Parsons could not find a rhythm during his first bobblehead night, shooting 4-for-13 overall and 1-for-7 from 3-point range. Parsons has connected on only 22.2 percent (4-for-18) of his attempts from behind the arc in his last four outings.
BAD MOVE: The Sixers became the second opponent in Houston's last three games to continually allow reserve center Greg Smith to roam freely behind the defense. Led by four consecutive Smith buckets from inside five feet, the Rockets closed the third period on an 8-1 spurt to stretch an 81-78 advantage to 89-79.
GOOD MOVE: Houston could sense that Philadelphia was reeling entering the fourth quarter, affording the Rockets an opportunity to utilize the quickening pace to put the Sixers to bed. Houston, which finished with 18 fast-break points, outscored Philadelphia 11-0 in transition during the final period.
QUOTABLE III: "Just being unselfish, moving the ball and making the easy play. I think early on [this season] we were forcing. We were not playing our games, and those guys are great players and they both can have good games together. There's no reason for one to play good and one to not play good."
-- Parsons on what has occurred to improve the chemistry between the members of the starting backcourt.
NOTABLE: The Sixers played without leading scorer Jrue Holiday (sore left foot) for the fourth consecutive game. Collins said before Wednesday's contest that Holiday could return to game action Friday, but the team will not be "short-term foolish" as the 22-year-old guard recovers. ... Philadelphia rookie point guard Maalik Wayns made his first career start with Holiday sidelined. ... The Sixers' Evan Turner tweaked his left ankle during the third quarter, but he returned after a brief break for treatment. Turner exited the court a few minutes later after re-aggravating the injury, however, and his status moving forward is unknown. After the game, Turner said he can "walk on it" and does not expect to miss Friday's matchup with Atlanta. ... The Rockets scored a season-high 69 points in the second half, their ninth 60-point half of this season. ... Houston improved to 6-1 when Harden reaches 30 points. ... The Rockets are now 10-2 against Eastern Conference competition. ... Houston registered its first wire-to-wire victory of the season. ... Philadelphia fell to 1-14 this season when trailing after three quarters. ... The Sixers last dropped five straight games Feb. 15-22, a stretch that included a defeat at Toyota Center. ... Philadelphia has lost 12 consecutive games when it gives up at least 110 points. ... The Sixers' bench combined for 65 points.