Harden leads Rockets over Grizzlies 121-96

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 22, 2012 at 10:22 pm •  Published: December 22, 2012

Lin added 15 points and a season-high tying 11 assists, and Marcus Morris scored 16 points.

The Rockets took advantage of their speed in this one, outscoring Memphis 33-3 on fast breaks in the Grizzlies' most lopsided loss of the season.

"They were tired," Lin said of the Grizzlies, who beat Dallas on Friday night. "So we wanted to make sure ... that we got the ball out and just run as fast as we can."

Memphis coach Lionel Hollins was disappointed in his team's effort.

"We just had no juice, no energy, and were not mentally tough," he said. "We just kind of packed it in early."

The Rockets led by 15 points late in the third quarter when Harden found Greg Smith in the lane for a dunk. Quincy Pondexter made a layup on the other end before Carlos Delfino knocked down a 3-pointer from 2 feet behind the line to extend the lead to 94-76.

Zach Randolph made a layup for Memphis to end the quarter with Houston up 94-78.

The Rockets had a six-point lead before Harden scored seven straight points to push Houston's lead to 77-64 with seven minutes left in the third quarter. He started the run with a three-point play before jumping in front of a pass and taking it the distance for a layup.

The Grizzlies led by three points with about nine minutes left in the second quarter before Houston used a 13-3 run powered by six points from Omer Asik to take a 48-41 lead.

Memphis cut its deficit to four later in the quarter. This time, the Rockets used a 12-6 spurt to extend their lead to 64-54 at halftime.

NOTES: The Rockets recalled G Scott Machado from the D-League Rio Grande Valley Vipers before the game. ... Asik had 14 points and 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. ... Houston is 7-1 when Harden scores at least 30 points. ... Randolph finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds for his 21st double-double this season, which leads the league. ... Houston's 32 assists were a season-high.