Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Westbrook, Harden lead Rockets to rout of Grizzlies

Field Level Media
27 Feb 2020, 13:55 GMT+10

Russell Westbrook and James Harden combined for 63 points, 16 rebounds and 11 assists as the host Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to five games with a wire-to-wire 140-112 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.

Houston earned at least a split of the season series against Memphis with another strong 3-point shooting display, finishing 23 for 50 from behind the arc. The Grizzlies, playing without Jaren Jackson Jr. (left knee) and Brandon Clarke (right quad), shot 13 for 39 from deep.

The Rockets can claim the season series with a home victory in the season finale on April 15.

Westbrook made his presence felt in his first game against Memphis this season, posting 33 points, nine rebounds, eight assists and four steals. He teamed with Harden to score 46 first-half points, nearly matching the Grizzlies' total as Houston led 73-47 at the intermission.

Harden finished with 30 points and seven rebounds, while nailing 7 of 12 3-pointers. Austin Rivers continued his uptick in scoring with 23 points off the bench. Houston has won 9 of 11 games.

Dillon Brooks paced the Grizzlies with 22 points, while Jonas Valanciunas posted his 27th double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Rookie guard Ja Morant, electric in his previous start against the Rockets, produced a quiet line of 12 points, three rebounds and nine assists.

For most of the opening period, the short-handed Grizzlies appeared up for the challenge, knotting the score at 14-14 on a Morant second-chance basket with 5:21 left.

But Westbrook keyed a 21-3 surge that closed the period, pairing two layups with two midrange jumpers.

Westbrook also delivered the pass that Jeff Green converted into a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and Houston carried a 35-17 advantage into the second quarter.

Buoyed by their cushion, the Rockets answered every Grizzlies push with a run of their own. Houston extended its lead to 45-25 on a P.J. Tucker trey with 8:17 left in the half, then eliminated all doubt with a 22-3 surge that bridged the middle two periods, extending to an 82-47 bulge when Robert Covington completed a three-point play with 10:46 left in the third quarter.

That 35-point lead was the largest of the game for the Rockets.

--Field Level Media

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