Dwight Howard scored 25 points and recorded 9 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a close victory over the Phoenix Suns, 115-112. The Rockets took quality shots, finishing 41-78 (52.6%) from the field and 28-32 (87.5%) at the free throw line. This is the ninth win for Houston (38-18) in its last 10 games.
Howard shot 10-12, in a solid performance. Other top contributors for Houston included James Harden with 23 points and 7 assists, Terrence Jones with 15 points and 7 rebounds, and Chandler Parsons with 13 points and 7 assists. Goran Dragic had another quality performance for Phoenix in the loss, scoring 35 points on 14-20 shooting (5-8 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 2-5 from the free throw line.
Along with their eFG% of 55.8%, the Rockets posted a FTA rate of 41.0. This season, they are 9-2 when they exceed 55% and 35.0 in those respective metrics. Conversely, the Suns are winless (0-3) when allowing their opponents to hit those marks.
This defeat means an end to a three-game winning streak for Phoenix, pushing their record to 33-22 for the year.
Coming up next, the Rockets battle the Sacramento Kings, who are 20-36 on the year. The Suns match up with the Minnesota Timberwolves, currently 27-29 this season. The Rockets came away with a loss in two of their last three games against Sacramento. The Suns are 1-0 versus Minnesota this season.