Rockets 114, Nets 95
HOUSTON -- Continuing their torrid play at home, the Houston Rockets jumped out to an early double-digit lead and coasted to a 114-95 victory over the scuffling Brooklyn Nets on Friday night at Toyota Center.
The Rockets (12-5) claimed their sixth consecutive home triumph by dominating the injury-plagued Nets (4-12) from the opening tip. Brooklyn played without starters Deron Williams (left ankle) and Kevin Garnett (rest) while reserves Jason Terry (left knee) and Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) were also out.
The Nets have dropped seven of eight games and, facing a tough back-to-back tilt with the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night, Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd pulled four starters at intermission: forwards Paul Pierce and Andre Blatche, and the backcourt tandem of Joe Johnson and Shaun Livingston.
Nets center Brook Lopez paced the starters with 16 points. Mirza Teletovic had 18 points and 13 rebounds off the bench for Brooklyn, which trailed 92-62 entering the fourth period.
Houston set a franchise record for consecutive wins over a single opponent, stretching its streak against the Nets to 14 games. Rockets forward Chandler Parsons scored 21 points on 7-for-7 shooting, including 6-of-6 from behind the arc, and was the last starter to retreat to the bench for good in the third quarter.
Seeking to continue their streak of consecutive home games without having surrendered the lead to five, the Rockets scored the first six points of the night with forward Terrence Jones solely responsible for their 6-0 lead. When the Nets threatened to surge ahead, the Rockets responded with a 13-0 run.
Houston showcased its typical offensive aggression, attacking both the rim and the Nets in transition. Parsons banged home a 3-pointer early in the shot clock before later scoring in transition. When center Dwight Howard converted a hard-earned tip-in at the 2:54 mark of the first quarter, the Rockets' lead hit 25-8.
The Nets, meanwhile, were a picture of offensive inefficiency, firing off 16 consecutive jump shots before finally getting an attempt in the restricted area. Of course, Blatche missed that layup with 4:01 remaining in the first, and by the close of that period, Brooklyn trailed 33-17 on 7-for-23 shooting.
The Rockets' red-hot shooting continued into the second, punctuated by Parsons' 5-for-5 half. His 3-pointer with 9.2 seconds left provided Houston a 66-40 lead at the break, bumped his total to 14 points, and concluded a half in which the Rockets shot 11-for-18 from behind the arc and 11-for-11 at the line.
Houston finished 19-for-32 on treys.
NOTES: Nets C Brook Lopez returned to the starting lineup after missing seven games with a sprained left ankle. However, with Brooklyn set to face Memphis on Saturday night, Nets coach Jason Kidd opted to give F Kevin Garnett the night off. The Nets were also missing G Deron Williams (left ankle), F Andrei Kirilenko (back spasms) and G Jason Terry (left knee). ... Kidd was curt in addressing the $50,000 fine the NBA assessed for his purposely spilling soda on the court to manipulate a break in the action in the latter stages against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night. "The league fined me for something I probably shouldn't have done, so we move on," Kidd said. ... Rockets G Jeremy Lin will be sidelined two weeks with a right knee sprain and contusion suffered Wednesday night when he collided with Atlanta F Paul Millsap.