Spurs 122, Rockets 116By Ruben Martinez, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Fri, Dec 28, 2012 11:30 PM EST
SAN ANTONIO -- Danny Green started things off for the San Antonio Spurs, and their Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili finished things off, as the Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 122-116 at the AT&T Center Friday night. Green, who had only scored in double figures one in the last five games entering Friday, scored 14 first quarter points, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range. He finished with 17 points, all in the first half. With Green's start, the Spurs seemed poised to make easy work of the Rockets, building a 15-point lead in the first quarter. The Spurs tied a season-high for a quarter with 41 points, and scored a season-high 69 points in the first half. But the Rockets, led by James Harden's 33 points, were able to fight back. And it was a wild, back-and-forth game from then on. The two Interstate 10 foes kept a frenetic pace from that point out. Parker led the Spurs with 31 points, Duncan scored 30 and Ginobili added 23 points. Duncan also added to his accolades by blocking two shots Friday to move to No. 9 on the all-time blocked shots list. Chandler Parsons added 24 points and eight rebounds for the Rockets and Jeremy Lin 21. The Rockets lost pace in the fourth quarter, scoring only seven points until 5 minutes were left in the game and the Spurs were able to build a 17-point lead and Houston had to expend a lot of energy to battle back. Notes: According to Yahoo! Sports, Rockets assistant coach Kelvin Sampson is a "significant candidate" to take over as the Brooklyn Nets coach. When Rockets coach Kevin McHale took a leave of absence earlier this year, Sampson led the Rockets to a 7-6 record. The Nets fired Avery Johnson earlier this week. ... Spurs guard Gary Neal missed his second consecutive game with a strained right calf. ... The Rockets have been on an offensive tear recently, averaging 122 points a game in three of their last four games. That three-game stretch tied an NBA record of winning three consecutive games by scoring 120 points and recording a margin of victory of at least 22 points in each game. ... Houston's last outing saw its pace slowed with an 87-84 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. ... It was the Rockets' first win on the road against a Western Conference team.
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