NBA regular season

Dillon Brooks hits dagger vs ex-team Grizzlies to keep Rockets hot

Reuters

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Dillon Brooks hits dagger vs ex-team Grizzlies to keep Rockets hot

FRIEND TURNED FOE. Memphis Grizzlies guard Desmond Bane (22) and Houston Rockets forward Dillon Brooks (9) are separated by a referee during the second half at FedExForum.

Petre Thomas/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Dillon Brooks proves to be a thorn in the side of his former team Grizzlies as the Rockets claim their fifth straight victory

Fred VanVleet broke a late tie with a jumper, Dillon Brooks disappointed his old fans with a last-minute three-pointer, and the visiting Houston Rockets overcame an early deficit to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 103-96 on Friday, December 15 (Saturday, December 16, Manila time).

Brooks finished with a season-high-tying 26 points, helping the Rockets complete a three-day, home-and-home sweep of the Grizzlies, who lost 117-104 on Wednesday in Houston.

Desmond Bane had a game-high 28 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for his second double-double for the Grizzlies, who dropped to 0-3 against the Rockets this season after having already been beaten 111-91 in Houston last month.

Down by as many as 17 points earlier, the Rockets took a 75-74 lead into the fourth period and retained a slight advantage until Jaren Jackson Jr. finally drew the hosts even at 94-all on a three-point play with 1:51 to go.

But VanVleet countered immediately with his 22-footer with 1:34 to play, triggering a 9-2 finish that gave Houston its fifth straight win and Memphis its fourth straight loss.

Dillon’s back-breaking three-pointer came with 40 seconds left, opening a five-point deficit from which the Grizzlies never recovered.

The Grizzlies blitzed the Rockets from the get-go, scoring the night’s first 5 points and limiting the visitors to 14 first-quarter points en route to a 17-point lead.

The lead was gone, however, before the end of the third period, with Aaron Holiday’s three-pointer giving Houston a 75-72 advantage and setting up a tightly contested fourth quarter.

Brooks’ team-high point total equaled his output against Sacramento last month. He shot 10-for-20 from the field while also finding time for 7 rebounds.

VanVleet put up 16 points, a game-high 8 assists, a game-high 4 steals, and 2 blocks for Houston, while Alperen Sengun chipped in with 15 points and 3 blocks. Jalen Green added 14 points, Jeff Green 12, and Tari Eason 11.

Bane’s rebound total bettered the 11 he had against the Charlotte Hornets last January.

Jackson, who poured in 44 points in Wednesday’s loss to the Rockets, was good for 22 to complement 4 blocks for Memphis, while Santi Aldama and Vince Williams Jr. added 11 points apiece and Bismack Biyombo 10. – Rappler.com

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