"We think we are just not running," Lin said. "We are not running with urgency and speed. Some of it is on me, too, not getting back (when opponents) do run the ball. We just need to make a conscious effort as a team of getting everybody up the floor."
The Rockets were within 76-75 when Memphis turned up the defensive intensity and began forcing turnovers. The pressure contributed to 11 unanswered points from Grizzlies reserves, including five from Wayne Ellington and four more from Marreese Speights.
When Quincy Pondexter forced another turnover on his fourth steal of the night, it led to a drive from Bayless, and Memphis had built its biggest lead at 87-75.
But the Rockets had one more push left led by Lin's defense and layups. Lin scored seven of nine straight points for Houston and the Rockets were within 87-85 with 2:21 left.
Conley's 3-pointer, followed by the rebound basket from Gay, provided enough of a buffer for the Grizzlies.
"We aren't a team that shoots it well all the time, but we always give forth the effort," Conley said. "Tonight was one of those cases where we didn't shoot the ball well. Guys stepped up defensively and made plays, got out in transition, and once again the second group put us on their back."
NOTES: Houston has lost four straight in Memphis. ... Harden, who started the season with 37 and 45 points, respectively, has hit only 17 of his 57 shots over the last three games. ... The game featured two of the NBA's top three rebounders in Asik and Randolph. Asik had three offensive boards. Randolph, who leads the league in rebounding, grabbed five on the offensive glass. .Houston, which leads the league with 11.75 steals a game, had only five. Memphis had a season-high 14 steals, including four by Pondexter and three each by Conley and Bayless. ... Randolph has recorded a double-double in all five Memphis games.