The second longest win streak in Rockets history is over at 17 games following a 108-105 loss to the Toronto Raptors Friday night at Air Canada Centre.
Despite trailing by 16 after a quarter and 19 in the second half, the Rockets battled back, and with 2:10 to play, James Harden canned a 3-pointer to tie the game at 102. It was the first time since the Rockets had a 2-0 lead that they didn’t trail, though that didn’t last long.
Demar DeRozan answered Harden’s trey with an 11-footer 21 seconds later to put Toronto back on top, and the Raptors never gave up the lead. On the Rockets ensuing possession, Clint Capela missed a layup and after the teams traded turnovers, C.J. Miles missed a shot from long distance. Capela got the rebound, but Paul missed a three of his own, but the Rockets couldn’t corral the rebound.
After a Paul foul, Kyle Lowry knocked down two free throws to make it a 4-point game, but Eric Gordon connected on a three. After Jonas Valanciunas made two free throws, Harden tried to tie the game with another, but missed, ending the game.
Harden finished with 40 points on 15-of-22 shooting, 4-of-8 from three, but no other Rockets scored more than 14 as they fall to 51-14 on the season.
Gordon and Paul scored 14 while Caplea and Trevor Ariza chipped in 13, Capela added 13 rebounds.
Lowry shot 10-of-14 from the field, 7-of-9 from downtown, for 30 points, while DeRozan had a 23 point as the Raptors improve to 48-17.
The loss is the Rockets first since January 26. The 17 game win streak is five off the franchise record, and longest in the NBA this season.
The Rockets will look to avoid back-to-back losses when they take on the Dallas Mavericks Sunday night at the American Airlines Center.