HOUSTON — The Brooklyn Nets erased a big early lead from the Houston Rockets to take an early fourth-quarter lead, but ultimately lost 108-98 in the opener of their three-game road trip.
With a 20-3 run that began late in the third quarter and carried over more than four minutes into the fourth, the Nets were up 92-91 with under eight minutes to go in the game. But the Rockets answered with eight straight points to go up 99-92 with 4:30 remaining.
Spencer Dinwiddie and Jarrett Allen each posted double-doubles for Brooklyn. Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds, and Dinwiddie had 17 points and 11 assists.
Taurean Prince had 16 points and six rebounds for Brooklyn, making 4-of-8 3-pointers, and Joe Harris had 12 points. Theo Pinson added 11 points and Deandre Jordan had 12 rebounds.
Trailing by as many as 22 points in the first half, the Nets cut the Houston lead to six before going into halftime down by nine.
In the first quarter, James Harden powered a 23-2 Rockets run on the way to scoring 22 first-quarter points and giving Houston a 42-20 lead going into the second quarter.
But the Nets outscored the Rockets 22-8 over the first eight minutes of the second quarter. Prince continued his early sharp shooting, making 4-of-5 3-pointers in the first half to lead the Nets at the break with 14 points.
With Houston back up by 12, Dinwiddie set up Allen inside and Harris on the break, and then two Allen free throws brought Brooklyn within 54-48 with 2:30 to go in the half. The Rockets took a 63-54 lead into halftime.
After the Rockets pushed their lead back to 18 with a 13-4 run to start the second half, the Nets again chipped into the lead, eventually closing the third quarter with a 7-0 run and a Rodions Kurucs 3-pointer at the buzzer that brought Brooklyn within 88-79 going into the fourth quarter.
Brooklyn extended that run to open the fourth quarter and get within two. Wilson Chandler banked in a runner, Pinson knocked down a top-of-the-key 3-pointer, and then drew a goaltend to make it 89-88, Houston. After Harden made 1-of-2 from the line for Houston, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarott made a pair of free throws and Jordan’s rebound tip-in had the Nets up 90-89 with 8:54 to go in the game.