So the Houston Rockets want to make the playoffs? Not like that, they won't.
Houston held a 110-107 lead over the Phoenix Suns with 4:04 to play in the 4th, but the Suns countered with a 12-0 run punctuated by a Tyson Chandler alley-oop slam from P.J. Tucker with 25 seconds left to put the Rockets away, eventually winning 124-115. Tucker finished with a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds to spearhead Phoenix's comeback.
The Rockets started out strong, leading 39-27 at the end of the 1st quarter, but Phoenix's bench, led by Mirza Teletovic, got the Suns back into the game in the 2nd quarter. Teletovic scored 17 of his 26 points in the 1st half to send the Suns into halftime down just 3, 60-57. Houston opened the 3rd quarter with a 10-0 run, but Tucker countered with a run of his own, scoring the Suns' first 12 points of the 2nd half to spark a fire that was mostly lacking as the Rockets' Trevor Ariza swarmed Devin Booker all night.
The Suns received an unexpected boost from Archie Goodwin, who scored 16 points and dished five assists as the backup point guard. His effort was big for the Suns, as their bench dominated Houston's bench all game. Also coming up big tonight were Chandler (21 points, 10 rebounds), Ronnie Price (nine points, three steals), and even Alex Len, who had a career-high seven assists.
Houston was led by James Harden's 30 points and Trevor Ariza's 22 but got little help elsewhere. The Rockets did outshoot the Suns 56.8 percent to 46.8 percent and forced 21 turnovers but committed 20 themselves and were outrebounded by Phoenix 47-26, including 20-5 on the offensive glass.