Rockets top Grizzlies in overtime in Smith's debut
MEMPHIS, TN (AP) - James Harden had 32 points and 10 assists, Josh Smith scored 21 points in his Rockets debut, and Houston beat the Memphis Grizzlies 117-111 in overtime on Friday night.
Trevor Ariza finished with 15 points, while Corey Brewer added 13. Patrick Beverley had 12 points for the Rockets, who took over the top spot in the Western Conference's Southwest Division.
Dwight Howard had only six points, but connected on all four of his free throws in overtime. He grabbed 11 rebounds.
Marc Gasol led Memphis with 29 points, while Beno Udrih contributed 17. Quincy Pondexter scored 14, and Vince Carter had 10, including a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to fuel a Memphis rally.
The teams were tied at 104 at the end of regulation after Gasol's jumper at the end of the fourth bounced away.
In overtime, Howard opened the scoring by converting a pair of free throws, banking in the second. Ariza followed with a 3-pointer.
The Grizzlies got within two points on several occasions in overtime, but could never wrest the lead away from the Rockets, who sent Memphis to its fourth straight loss.
The Rockets, who scored the opening basket of the game, never led again until scoring the first five points of the fourth quarter. Memphis missed its first eight shots in the period.
Jason Terry then connected on consecutive 3-pointers to send the Houston lead to double digits.
The Rockets still led 100-91 when Harden converted a pair of free throws with just under 4 minutes left in regulation.
Memphis answered with 10 unanswered points to retake the lead. Carter connected on consecutive 3-pointers before Harden's drive with 15.5 seconds remaining tied the game at 104. Carter lost the ball on the drive with 0.6 seconds left, but it was ruled out on Howard after an extended review by officials.
Gasol got off a jumper as regulation ended, but it bounced off sending the game to overtime.
Memphis built a 14-point lead in the second quarter, but 10 unanswered points closed the gap for Houston. Conley's 3-pointer as the half ended gave the Grizzlies a 57-50 lead.
Houston stayed close in the early stages of the second half, but Gasol's jumper continued to connect as he stepped out further on each one. He had 11 points in the first 6 minutes of the third.
The Rockets pulled even at 73, and Memphis managed only an 81-79 lead entering the fourth as Gasol registered 13 in the period.
Rockets: Houston waived rookie Tarik Black to make room for Smith. Black played collegiately at the University of Memphis before finishing his final year of eligibility at Kansas. .The Rockets entered the game having lost seven of their last eight at FedExForum. ... The Rockets are 4-0 in overtime games this season
Grizzlies: Tony Allen returned after missing four games with a right corneal abrasion. Forward Zach Randolph missed his third straight game with a sore right knee. The Grizzlies are now 1-5 since last season when Randolph out . Carter has reached double figures in six straight games.
Rockets: Visit San Antonio on Sunday
Grizzlies: Visit Miami on Saturday
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