HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 29 points, Chandler Parsons added 16 points and a career-high 11 assists and the Houston Rockets beat Brooklyn 119-106 on Saturday night for their 12th consecutive win over the Nets.
Omer Asik had 20 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets, who outrebounded the Nets 50-31 and outscored Brooklyn 60-24 in the paint.
Nets star Deron Williams scored 27 points, but cooled off after a 20-point first quarter. He was ejected with 1:07 left after arguing a call with referee David Jones. Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 13 for Brooklyn.
Jeremy Lin had 14 points, nine assists and six turnovers for the Rockets.
Lin had his breakout game against Williams last Feb. 4, scoring 25 points and launching “Linsanity” in a 99-92 victory for the New York Knicks. Williams scored 38 points the next time they met at Madison Square Garden, leading the Nets to a 100-92 win.
Lin was a restricted free agent after last season and signed a three-year, $25 million deal with Houston. Raymond Felton replaced Lin as the Knicks’ point guard, and Williams said before the season that he thought Felton was a better point guard than Lin.
Williams dominated the matchup at the beginning of the game, scoring Brooklyn’s first nine points, and 17 of its first 22. He started 7 for 7 and just beat the first-quarter buzzer with his fourth 3-pointer to put Brooklyn up 29-28. Lin missed his first two shots from the field and went to the bench after 7½ minutes.
With Lin back on the floor and Williams resting, the Rockets built a 46-33 lead, dominating inside at both ends. Williams returned and missed two shots, while Houston stretched its lead to 18.
The Rockets had 17 assists on their first 20 field goals. Parsons had eight assists by himself in the first half, matching his career high for a game.
Williams didn’t score with Parsons guarding him in the second quarter, and Lopez went 1 for 7 in the first half. Houston outrebounded Brooklyn 27-15 and outscored the Nets 32-6 in the paint to lead 62-49 at the break.
Lin was back on Williams in the third, and the Rockets stayed comfortably in front. Brooklyn played better defense toward the end of the third quarter and cut the deficit to 89-80. Williams missed a 3-point try and Carlos Delfino finished a fast break with a dunk early in the fourth to restore Houston’s double-digit lead.
Lin sank his first two 3-pointers of the game to put Houston over 100 points for just the third time in six games. Harden converted a three-point play and drove for a reverse layup to give the Rockets a 113-98 advantage with four minutes left.
NOTES: The Rockets reinstated suspended rookie forward Royce White before the game. He’s due to report to Rio Grande Valley, the team’s developmental league affiliate, on Feb. 11. White, the 16th overall pick in the last draft, has been inactive all season while he worked on an arrangement with the team to balance his acknowledged anxiety disorder with the demands of the NBA schedule. … Williams is the first Houston opponent to score 20 points in a quarter since Dirk Nowitzki scored 21 in the fourth quarter of a 117-110 Dallas victory last April. … Harden missed a free throw, snapping a streak of 36 straight successful foul shots. … The Nets wrapped up a four-game road trip. They open a four-game homestand against Orlando on Monday.
What is it with the Rockets that the Nets can’t figure out in 12 games? Share your thoughts below.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)