By Adam Spolane

After five Minutes at Toyota Center Monday it night, it looked like the Rockets would score an easy win against the Indiana Pacers. They jumped out to an 18-2 lead and led by as many as 17 in the second quarter, but that lead evaporated and turned into a 117-108 loss.

Indiana closed to within four points late in the first quarter, but the Rockets closed the quarter and started the second by scoring the next 10 points, pushing the lead to 17 when Lou Williams drained a three with 9:13 left in the half, but the Pacers scored the next six, and after Eric Gordon’s layup nudged the lead back to 13 they scored nine in a row to pull within four.

The Pacers took their first lead of the night when Jeff Teague found a cutting Myles Turner for a layup and the Pacers led 59-58 at halftime. The Pacers scored 39 points in the second quarter, despite shooting less than 50 percent from the field (13-for-27). They grabbed eight offensive rebounds in the quarter, which led to 12-second chance points. Overall, the out-rebounded the Rockets 18-4 in the game’s second 12 minutes.

Houston regained the lead in the first minute of the second half, and Ryan Anderson’s 3-pointer 2:33 into the quarter gave the Rockets a 66-62 lead, but the Pacers scored seven in a row to take the lead back, only to see the Rockets get it back after Eric Gordon’s 4-point play. That lead didn’t last long, and the Pacers finished the third quarter on an 11-2 run to take an eight point lead into the fourth quarter.

That lead ballooned to as many as 14 in the fourth quarter only to see the Rockets get within two, but C.J. Miles three from the right corner with 40.8 seconds left sealed the game for Indiana.

The loss drops the Rockets to 42-19 on the season, ending a 3-game post all star break win streak.

The Rockets shot just 36 percent from the field, hitting on just 10-of-45 shots from behind the 3-point line.

James Harden shot just 1-of-9 from downtown, and 5-of-17 overall, but finished with 25 points thanks to 14-of-17 shooting from the free throw stripe. He added 12 assists and 7 rebounds.

Lou Williams chipped in 28 points off the bench.

Teague led Indiana in scoring with 25 points. He added eight rebounds and six assists. Paul George chipped in 15 as the Pacers improve to 31-29 and sweep the season series from the Rockets.


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