Rockets 93, Grizzlies 86

Phil Stukenborg, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Forward Chandler Parsons scored 17 points and reserve forward Omri Casspi added 16 to lead the Houston Rockets to a 93-86 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night at the FedExForum.
The Rockets opened the fourth quarter with a 14-2 run that gave them the lead for the first time since the opening minutes. The surge put the Rockets ahead 69-65. Guard Francisco Garcia led the run with six points, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 65.
Houston extended its lead to 75-69 after consecutive baskets by Casspi and eventually built nine-point leads on several occasions, the last coming in the closing seconds at 93-84.
Rockets center Dwight Howard had 15 points and seven rebounds. Houston guard Jeremy Lin added 14 points.
The Grizzlies were led by forward Tayshaun Prince, who had 16 points. Memphis point guard Mike Conley, averaging a career-high 19.5 points, struggled with his shot. He went 2-for-14 and finished with 10 points and 10 assists.
Both teams were affected by the loss of key players. The Grizzlies played without center and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Marc Gasol, who injured his knee last week and is out for an indefinite period. The Rockets were minus guard James Harden, who leads the team with a 24.2-point average and is nursing a foot injury.
Houston outshot Memphis, 49.3 percent to 41.5 percent, and grabbed 43 rebounds to the Grizzlies' 35. Kosta Koufos, Gasol's replacement at center, pulled down 13 rebounds.
Leading by 12 at the half, the Grizzlies quickly upped their advantage to 46-32 and 48-34 before the Rockets slowly closed the gap. The closest the Rockets got in the third period was 59-52 after two free throws by Lin.
The Grizzlies used a 10-0 to close the second quarter and build their biggest lead at 44-32. Forward Zach Randolph (13 points) scored twice in the paint, and guard Tony Allen added two fast-break layups to power the run.
The Rockets shot only 34 percent in the first half and were 1-for-11 from beyond the arc. The Grizzlies shot 42 percent before the break.
With the game tied at 6, the Grizzlies slowly pulled away behind the rebounding of Koufos and two 3-pointers from forward Mike Miller. Memphis didn't trail the remainder of the half.
The Grizzlies led 29-22 early in the second quarter and watched the Rockets trim the advantage to 34-32 before Memphis surged in front by a dozen at halftime.
NOTES: Grizzlies C Marc Gasol spoke for the first time since being diagnosed with a left MCL sprain sustained in Friday's home loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Gasol, who played in 239 of 243 games with the Grizzlies since the beginning of the 2010 season, said he would spend at least the next three to four weeks on crutches and be evaluated on a daily basis afterward. He said his intention was to return before two months, the time required for teammate Quincy Pondexter to return from a similar injury last year. ... Rockets G James Harden missed his third consecutive game due to a sore left foot. ... The Grizzlies won their previous five home meetings with the Rockets, dating to Dec. 3, 2010.

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