Brooks hits 7 3s in Rockets’ win
Brooks set a Houston record by hitting seven 3-pointers without a miss and scored 31 points, and the Rockets snapped the Grizzlies’ seven-game road winning streak with a 107-94 victory.
“Kind of a weird experience,” said Brooks, who went 11 for 14 from the field overall. “I don’t think I’ve ever shot 7 for 7 in a game, a pickup game or anything like that. Some of the shots were off-balance, I don’t know. It just felt good.”
Luis Scola(notes) scored 20 points, and Kevin Martin(notes) added 18 for the Rockets, who moved into ninth place in the Western Conference—a half-game ahead of Memphis. Houston has won four straight, its longest streak of the season.
“It’s less than a month away from the end of the season,” Scola said. “We’ve just got to win games in any possible way. Ugly? So be it.”
Zach Randolph(notes) had 30 points and 15 rebounds for the taller Grizzlies, who scored 64 points in the paint, a season high for a Houston opponent. The Rockets countered by going 10 for 19 from 3-point range and holding Memphis to one 3-pointer in seven attempts.
“The effort was there and we played hard,” Conley said. “They just shot the ball so well.”
Backup forward Jordan Hill(notes) grabbed a career-high nine rebounds for Houston. The 6-foot-10 Hill was the Rockets’ most effective defender on the 6-9, 260-pound Randolph, who scored almost all of his points near the rim.
Rudy Gay scored 14 points, and Mike Conley added 11 for the Grizzlies, who’ve lost eight straight games in Houston.
Memphis led by as many as 11 in the first half, but the Rockets cut the deficit to 55-53 by the break. Houston gave away 12 turnovers in the first half, but none in the last four minutes to draw closer.
Randolph picked up a loose ball and scored with 6:05 left in the third quarter, Memphis’ first field goal of the second half. Brooks swished consecutive 3s to help Houston build the lead back to 10.
“He killed us,” Randolph said. “He was pulling up and hitting 3s once he was crossing midcourt.”
But Brooks wasn’t the only Rocket who shot well after the break—the team made 22 of 35 shots (63 percent) in the second half, including 6 for 10 from 3-point range.
“When you make shots, everything opens up,” Scola said. “You play much calmer and we all have a little more space.”
The Grizzlies used their size advantage to score 50 points in the lane through three quarters, but the Rockets still led by nine heading to the fourth.
Brooks hit his sixth 3 with 6:07 left, tying Battier’s franchise record for 3-point tries without a miss, set earlier this season. Brooks’ sank No. 7 with 4:07 remaining to send Houston over 100 points.
NOTES: The Rockets shot 53 percent overall (39 of 73) and improved to 13-0 when they shoot 50 percent or better. … Scola finished with seven rebounds, snapping his streak of consecutive double-doubles at six. … Memphis C Hasheem Thabeet(notes) replaced Marc Gasol(notes) (strained neck) in the lineup for the second straight game. Coach Lionel Hollins said Gasol is “day to day,” but could’ve played Wednesday. “I’m not so sure that if this was a heated playoff battle or a playoff game, that he wouldn’t play,” Hollins said. “He’s been banged up in this area two or three times this year. It’s just best that he not play.”