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Phoenix at Houston

Howard dominates as surging Rockets down Suns

CBSSports.com wire reports
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HOUSTON -- The Houston Rockets have won four games in a row.

It certainly isn't a coincidence that Dwight Howard has scored at least 20 points in each game of the winning streak.

Howard had 34 points and 14 rebounds to help the Rockets beat the Phoenix Suns 122-108 on Wednesday night.

"I've just been being patient and letting my teammates find me in the right spot and not rushing my shots," Howard said.

The center has been spending extra time after practice this season working on post moves with former Rockets assistant coach and general manager Carroll Dawson.

"We talk about after I got my man beat, just slow down and make the shot," Howard said. "So I've just been trying to do that."

Howard also had three steals and two blocks, and James Harden added 23 points for Houston. It was the fifth game this season where Howard had at least 30 points and 10 rebounds, which is the most by a Rocket in a season since Yao Ming had six in 2007-08.

Houston coach Kevin McHale is encouraged that his guards have started to get a better feel for how to get the ball inside to Howard.

"I thought we missed him a couple of times, but we found him better," McHale said. "We just have to keep working on passing the ball to him, being better post feeders."

The Suns cut it to four points with about six minutes left before Houston went on a 10-3 run to make it 113-102. The Rockets capped that run when Harden knocked down a 3-pointer, Howard blocked Goran Dragic's shot, and Chandler Parsons added a layup.

Phoenix missed four shots, had a turnover and a shot-clock violation in that span.

Dragic had 23 points and eight assists for the Suns, who have dropped two in a row after winning five straight. They lost at home to Chicago on Tuesday night.

"We didn't stop anybody," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek said. "We didn't stop anybody last night, either. Our defense has not been very good."

Chandler Parsons and Terrence Jones added 19 points each for Houston, which was playing the second of just three home games this month.

Houston scored six straight points early in the fourth quarter to push its lead to 101-92. The Suns responded with a 7-2 spurt, started with a 3 from Leandro Barbosa, to get to 103-99 midway through the period.

The Suns trailed by 12 points late in the third quarter before going on a 10-3 run to cut the lead to 95-90 entering the fourth quarter. Dragic had six points in that run and Barbosa scored the rest.

The Rockets scored the first six points of the third quarter before Gerald Green outscored Houston 6-1 over the next two minutes of the quarter to cut the lead to 73-69.

Houston was up by seven a few minutes later when Harden got knocked to the court hard when Channing Frye backed into him. Harden remained on the court wincing in pain while the game continued and Tucker made a shot. Harden finally got up after the bucket and remained in the game.

Howard scored four quick points after that as part of a 9-2 run that extended Houston's lead to 92-80 with three minutes left in the quarter.

The Suns took their first lead of the game, 41-40, about nine minutes before halftime after outscoring Houston 11-5 in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Marcus Morris scored the last six points of that run before Dragic hit a 3 and Ish Smith added a basket to extend the lead to 46-40.

Houston got back on track after that with a 9-2 spurt that put the Rockets back on top 49-48.

The Rockets led by one a few minutes later before a 6-0 run, capped by an alley-oop by Howard, pushed the lead to 61-54.

Houston led 66-63 at halftime.

Notes

Houston G/F Francisco Garcia missed his ninth straight game with a sore left knee. ... It was the sixth straight game with at least 20 points for Dragic, the longest streak of his career. ... Phoenix's Markieff Morris had 11 points to extend his career-best streak of double-digit games to 12.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Dwight Howard goes off for 34 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets pound the Suns for their fourth straight win. (USATSI)
Dwight Howard goes off for 34 points and 14 rebounds as the Rockets pound the Suns for their fourth straight win. (USATSI)
Scoreboard
Phoenix (29-20)30332718108
Houston (33-17) «35312927122
PHO:G. Dragic 23 Pts
PHO:G. Green 6 Reb
PHO:G. Dragic 8 Ast
HOU:D. Howard 34 Pts
HOU:D. Howard 14 Reb
HOU:C. Parsons 6 Ast
Players of the Game
PhoenixHouston

Goran Dragic

Dwight Howard
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
236834140

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Phoenix
P. Tucker, SF366-101-252213
G. Dragic, PG366-139-968423
G. Green, SG315-141-261413
M. Plumlee, C262-41-26035
C. Frye, C233-111-20248
M. Morris, PF235-132-264412
L. Barbosa, SG205-71-222213
M. Morris, PF165-90-040111
A. Len, C151-30-01032
I. Smith, PG124-60-02208
D. Christmas, SG10-00-00000
V. Kravtsov, C10-00-00000
E. Okafor, CDid Not Play
E. Bledsoe, PGDid Not Play
A. Goodwin, SGDid Not Play
Totals 42-9016-21382127108
 46.7%76.2% 
Houston
C. Parsons, SF418-120-076119
D. Howard, C3911-1712-18140434
J. Harden, SG384-1012-1221223
P. Beverley, PG313-70-00538
T. Jones, PF318-122-392219
J. Lin, PG293-64-412411
D. Motiejunas, PF171-53-31035
O. Casspi, SF141-20-22103
R. Covington, SF10-00-00000
F. Garcia, SGDid Not Play
R. Brewer, SGDid Not Play
A. Brooks, PGDid Not Play
O. Asik, CDid Not Play
G. Smith, PFDid Not Play
I. Canaan, PGDid Not Play
Totals 39-7133-42361719122
 54.9%78.6% 
Other Games
LAL 119 Final
Cle 108
Bos 114 Final
Phi 108
SA 125 Final
Wash 118
Det 98 Final
Orl 112
Port 94 Final
NY 90
Atl 100 Final
NO 105
Min 97 Final
OKC 106
Dal 110 Final
Mem 96
Mil 100 Final
Den 110
Tor 101 Final
Sac 109
Mia 116 Final
LAC 112