|Date of game: 1/23/2015
Recap: Phoenix vs. Houston
Phoenix, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden scored 33 points and hit the winning jumper at the buzzer to lift the Houston Rockets to a 113-111 triumph over the Phoenix Suns.
Donatas Motiejunas scored 15 for the Rockets, who blew a 16-point lead halfway through the fourth quarter but bounced back to win for the seventh time in 10 games. Josh Smith, Patrick Beverley and Corey Brewer all posted 14 points for the Rockets.
"We wanted to take the last shot," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "We flattened it out for James and James has been making big shots all year and he's got the ability to step back and gather, strong and goes up and shoots it. It was a big shot for us. Up to that point, we had done some very interesting things to allow them back in the game."
Houston lost forward Dwight Howard to a right ankle sprain in the first quarter. He twisted his ankle after landing on a Suns player.
Eric Bledsoe had 25 points, nine assists and eight rebounds for the Suns, who had their four-game overall and seven-game home winning streak broken. Isaiah Thomas scored 22 and Markieff Morris totaled 21 points for the Suns.
Harden's layup with 6:11 left extended Houston's lead to 102-86, but Phoenix rallied from down five with 64 seconds left and eventually tied the game on Morris' 3-point play. He drove down the lane for a layup and was fouled by Joey Dorsey.
Out of a timeout, Harden dribbled with the ball near the top of the key before moving to the left elbow. Thomas came to help defensively, but he was too late as Harden's jumper rattled through the basket.
"Well we didn't want to let him [Harden] beat us," Suns coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We sent Isaiah with five, but he made a good play. Isaiah flew by him at that point, but we couldn't get it out of his hands. Great players make great plays."
Houston was up 32-24 after one quarter and 60-52 at halftime. The margin was in double digits most of the third quarter and 87-77 going to the fourth. Morris, though, scored 11 in the final quarter, a period in which the Suns shot 59.1 percent.Game Notes
Trevor Ariza had 11 points for Houston, which shot 52.4 percent ... Alex Len
had 11 rebounds for Phoenix, which went 10-of-30 from 3-point range ... Gerald
Green scored 15 for the Suns ... The Rockets beat the Suns by five in Houston
on Dec. 6 and have won four in a row in this series.