Parsons set an NBA record for 3-pointers in one half but the
Memphis Grizzlies relied on a burst of offensive execution and some
late stifling defense and held on for an 88-87 win over the Rockets
on Friday night at Toyota Center.
Parsons tallied a career-high 34 points by making 10 3-pointers in
the second half, all in succession before a misfire with 1:13 left
against the dwindling shot clock. His shooting exhibition set a
Houston franchise record, eclipsing the mark of nine 3s set by
Robert Horry and matched by Jeremy Lin on Nov. 13 in a 123-117
overtime loss at Philadelphia.
"I was pretty much unconscious," Parsons said. "My body went numb.
Never felt that feeling on a basketball court before. Everything I
was going to throw up there was going to go in and I felt extremely
But after Parsons drilled his final 3-pointer to pull the Rockets
(29-16) to within one point with 1:51 remaining, the Grizzlies
(21-20) dug in defensively. Houston missed its final five attempts,
including a desperation 3-point heave from guard Patrick Beverley
just prior to the buzzer and after Memphis trapped Parsons above the
arc and left him with no option but to pass.
Memphis' last three baskets all came inside five feet, and while the
Grizzlies failed to score after forward James Johnson's five-foot
jumper with 1:58 remaining, their execution prior to that final
basket was determined.
"Some nights the ball doesn't go in, but when you get easy looks
like layups and stuff around the basket that helps a lot as opposed
to when you're playing defense and he's hitting all those 3s,"
Memphis guard Courtney Lee said. "That keeps you in the game if you
can get easy ones."
Lee paced the Grizzlies with 19 points while guard Mike Conley added
14. Forward Zach Randolph chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds
for Memphis. Johnson and reserve forward Ed Davis scored 10 points
While Parsons shot 10-for-14 on 3s, Rockets guard James Harden
paired 10 points with a career-high 13 assists and center Dwight
Howard recorded his 29th double-double with 11 points and 12
But Beverley and Harden shot a combined 3-for-22 from the floor and,
excluding Parsons, the Rockets hit just 4 of 20 from behind the arc.
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"We didn't make a lot of shots," Rockets coach Kevin McHale
said. "Chandler kept us in the game. Otherwise it would have
been an 88-70 game."
Parsons scored just four points on 1-for-2 shooting in the first
half before catching fire in the third quarter, burying six 3s
in the period to buoy the Rockets. Parsons drilled a pair of
treys before Harden nailed one at the 5:55 mark of the period to
give the Rockets a 52-47 lead.
Houston opened 0-for-12 on 3s before forward Omri Casspi snapped
that drought with 50.9 seconds left in the half. That followed
Memphis' 9-2 run, a stretch in which it held the Rockets without
a basket while Lee tallied six points around a Conley trey. The
Grizzlies led 44-35 at the break and spent the second half
laboring to fend off Parsons.
"Chandler was fantastic," Memphis coach Dave Joerger said. "What
can you say about him?"
NOTES: There was some pregame buzz that Grizzlies G Tony Allen
was nearing a return from a sprained left wrist that has
sidelined him since Jan. 5, but Memphis coach David Joerger
snuffed those rumors with haste. Allen has missed eight
consecutive games. "I'll let you know when it get close,"
Joerger said. "We're not close." ... Despite enjoying what can
best be described as a bounce-back season, Rockets C Dwight
Howard was not chosen as a starter among Western Conference
All-Stars, finishing fourth behind frontcourt selections Kevin
Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Blake Griffin of the Los
Angeles Clippers and Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"It's understandable," said Howard, who is averaging 18.3 points
and 12.6 rebounds. "Now with no centers on the ballot, we get
mixed in with the Kevin Durants and Blakes — guys who play
small forward and power forward. It's a little bit different,
but I'll do whatever I can to get back up to the top. That's my
goal. The only way you do that is by winning, so that's what
we're going to try to do."
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