HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) – So much for 82-0. Monday night at Toyota Center, the Rockets led a double-digit fourth quarter lead slip away in a 98-90 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.
The loss is the Rockets first through four games, and it happened despite leading by 12 in the third quarter and 10 with 8:35 left to play, but the Rockets only managed to score 33 points in the second half, 14 in the fourth quarter, and two in the game’s last 6:22, when a James Harden layup made it 88-78, but from there it was all Memphis.
First it was a Mike Conley layup, followed by a Marc Gasol turnaround jumper. Then Tyreke Evans knocked down a three, and Conley did the same to tie it. The Grizzlies took their first lead since the first four minutes of the game on James Ennis’ 3-point play. A Clint Capela alleyoop from Harden brought the Rockets within one, but Conley knocked down another three to make it a 4-point game.
Capela’s bucket was the only one the Rockets made in their last 11 attempts. They shot 42 percent for the game, 31 percent in the second half, and 26 percent in the fourth quarter.
Gasol led the Grizzlies with 26 points, while Conley added 17, a dozen of those came in the fourth quarter. Memphis improved to 3-0, they now have wins over the Rockets and Warriors in the season’s first week.
Eric Gordon led the Rockets with 27 points, 18 of those came in the first half which helped them to a 57-50 halftime lead, but he shot just 3-of-12 in the second half, 1-of-9 from behind the 3-point line.
Harden added 22 points and eight assists.
The Rockets will next be in action Wednesday in Philadelphia.