By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Hawks grounded by Rockets
Placeholder Image

HOUSTON - Kevin Martin scored 35 points and Luis Scola added 12 of his 15 in the second half to lead the Houston Rockets to their seventh straight home win, 114-109 over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday night.

Scola made a jumper from the top of the key with 1:32 remaining to make it 107-104. He buried another one from the same spot about a minute later to stretch the lead to 109-105. Houston made five free throws after that to secure the win.

The Rockets stayed three games behind Memphis and New Orleans in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Hornets beat Indiana on Sunday night, and the Grizzlies were idle.

Houston has won eight of its last 10, but has only five games remaining. The Rockets play Sacramento on Tuesday night, then play in New Orleans on Wednesday.

The Hawks, who had won four straight, were led by Joe Johnson's 25 points. They have lost 11 of their last 12 games in Houston.

Each of Houston's starting five finished in double figures as Chuck Hayes added 19 points, Kyle Lowry had 17 and Chase Budinger scored 11.

The Rockets led by five points with about 6½ minutes remaining before Atlanta used a 10-2 run to take a 102-99 lead with just under 4 minutes remaining. Johnson scored six straight points in that span.

Houston answered with six straight points, including four from Martin, to regain the lead, 105-102, before the key shots by Scola.

Josh Smith chipped in 21 points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta and Jamal Crawford scored 15.

The Rockets got a boost from the free throw line, where they made 25 of their 29 attempts, including 12 of 13 from Martin.

Crawford led the Hawks on a 22-9 second-quarter surge for a 63-54 halftime lead. Atlanta trailed 36-35 when Crawford hit a 3-pointer to start the rally.

Crawford had 11 points in the second quarter to help the Hawks to a 63-49 lead with 35 seconds left in the half. Martin had 10 second-quarter points to keep the Rockets in range.

The score was tied eight times in the first quarter. The Hawks recovered from an early 8-0 run by Houston and scored the final six points of the period for a 23-21 lead, completing an 11-2 run. Smith had five points in the charge.

Notes: The Hawks snapped a 10-game losing streak in Houston in their last visit to Toyota Center on Jan., 25, 2010. ... The Hawks are in the playoffs for the fourth straight season. Houston is trying to avoid missing the playoffs for the second straight year. ... Atlanta's 40-point second quarter marked the most points allowed by the Rockets in the second this season.

Friends to Follow social media