Shaun Livingston scored 17 points and Deron Williams added 12 and
a team-high six assists as the Nets snapped a 14-game losing streak
against Houston. Andray Blatche chipped in 13 points off the bench
for Brooklyn, which moved to within 1 1/2 games of fourth-place
Chicago and Atlantic Division-leading Toronto in the fight for
homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
James Harden made all 16 of his free throws en route to 26 points
for the Rockets, who played their second straight game without
All-Star center Dwight Howard (ankle). Omer Asik filled in well with
a career-high 23 rebounds but Houston dropped its second straight to
fall three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in
The Nets used a 13-6 run — capped by Johnson's basket in the closing
seconds — to take a 54-51 lead into halftime. Livingston scored the
first four points of an 11-2 surge that put the hosts up 78-67 late
in the third but Houston battled back to within a point late in the
Johnson buried a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third and
Mirza Teletovic had one of his own early in the fourth to put
Brooklyn up 87-79. Livingston had a steal and fed Jorge Gutierrez to
make it 94-83 midway through the stanza and the Rockets — who shot
38.1 percent from the field — could never get closer than seven
points down the stretch.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Brooklyn SG Marcus Thornton (back) missed his second
game in less than a week. ... Houston also played without PF
Terrence Jones (illness). ... Nets head coach Jason Kidd was named
Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the second time in three
months earlier Tuesday.
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