The Houston Rockets avoided a late-game collapse and finished off their 112-106 victory over the San Antonio Spurs late in the fourth quarter. James Harden scored nine points over the final five minutes of the game to help seal the victory.
The Spurs were down two with a chance to win or tie the game with 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Manu Ginobili took a well-defended three-point attempt just nine seconds into the shot clock and the Rockets grabbed the defensive rebound and found Chandler Parsons on the other end for the game-sealing dunk:
The Spurs went with the Hack-a-Howard strategy with just over three minutes left in the fourth quarter. Howard shot one-for-two on his first trip to the line but on the next Rockets' possession the referees awarded James Harden three free-throws while the team hacked Howard, deciding that Harden had put up the shot attempt as the foul happened. He made two of the three attempts.
Howard went four-of-six from the line during the stretch of Hack-a-Howard in the fourth quarter.
Tony Parker was huge for San Antonio, scoring a team-high 26 points and generating his own 10-0 run during the second quarter when the Spurs were down 21. He also finished this magical layup over Howard:
The Spurs outscored the Rockets 34-26 in the third quarter and took a two-point lead at the 11:03 mark of the fourth quarter after Marco Belinelli drained a corner three. He drained a second three less than two minutes later to give the Spurs a five-point lead after being down by as many as 23 points. Houston won the fourth quarter 29-26, though, and held on late despite the Spurs having momentum at home.
Chandler Parsons scored 25 points. He made four of his eight three-point attempts, locked in from long-distance. James Harden was the game's leading scorer. He finished with 31, with 16 coming in the fourth quarter. Howard finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds.