Tuesday night at Toyota Center, the Rockets cut a 20-point second half deficit, down to five but couldn’t get closer as they saw their 6-game winning streak come to an end in a 129-113 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
The loss is the Rockets first in the month of November and drops them to 11-4 on the season.
James Harden led all scorers with 38 points, but he shot just 8-of-25 from the field. He did knock down all 19 of his free throw attempts and grab six rebounds while dishing out 11 assists.
Trevor Ariza added 20 points while Tarik Black gave the Rockets 13 off the bench.
Harden scored 16 points in the first quarter, and the Rockets led by as many as 8, but Toronto scored the final six points of the quarter to close to within a bucket, then in the second, the Raptors took over.
The Raptors scored 45 points in 12 minutes, taking advantage of 11 Rockets fouls, leading to 20 free throw attempts of which Toronto made 16. Houston did not commit a single turnover in the first quarter, but gave the ball up eight times in the second, leading to 10 points. Raptors coach Dwane Casey played 12 players in the first half, 11 of them scored. DeMar DeRozan led the way with 15, while Harden went to the locker room leading the Rockets with 21.
Trailing 76-64, the start of the third quarter played out similarly to the second. DeMar DeRozan knocked down all three freebies after being fouled on a 3-point attempt, and after a Rockets turnover, Jonas Valanciunas knocked down a turnaround to get the lead to 17, and Raptors eventually pushed the lead to 20, but the Rockets closed the period on a 20-11 run to cut the lead to single digits, and after Ryan Anderson split a pair of free throws with 7:23 left, the lead was down to five, but the Raptors scored the next eight points, and the Rockets never got any closer.
DeRozan led the Raptors with 27 points while Kyle Lowry and C.J. Miles added 19 as the Raptors improve to 8-5.
P.J. Tucker was ejected in the third quarter.
The Rockets hit the road for a game against the Phoenix Suns Thursday night.