Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeremy Lin poured in 31 points and James Harden scored 10 of his 26 points after regulation as the Houston Rockets outlasted the Toronto Raptors in a 110-104 double-overtime thriller at the Toyota Center.
Lin finished 10-of-17 from the field and netted nine of his points in the two overtimes to help Houston bounce back from two straight home losses. The Rockets were nearly dealt a third after Toronto rallied from a 17-point third- quarter deficit to force extra time.
Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons each had 18 points in the win, with Howard pulling down 24 rebounds and blocking five shots.
"We just have to stick with it," Howard said. "Second half we didn't play as good as we wanted to, but we got a good win. We needed on especially at home, and I'm glad we got it."
Rudy Gay put up 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors before fouling out in the final stages. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had 22 and 16 points, respectively, in the loss, with Jonas Valanciunas notching a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
After missing out on a chance to win at the end of regulation and failing to hold onto a four-point lead in the first overtime, the Rockets finally put a game Toronto squad away in the second extra session.
Lin ended Houston's opening possession with a successful jumper and Harden buried a 3-pointer with 3:19 left for a 100-95 advantage. Lowry sank a pair of triples around another Harden basket, however, and Gay was fouled while canning a short jumper and sunk the bonus shot for a 104-104 tie with 1:50 remaining.
The Raptors didn't score again, however. Howard grabbed an offensive board and fed Terrence Jones for a go-ahead layup with 1:13 left, and Lin scored in the lane after an unsuccessful offensive trip for Toronto for a four-point spread with 33.4 seconds on the clock.
Gay was off the mark on the ensuing possession, and Houston's Patrick Beverley sealed the outcome by making 1-of-2 from the line.
"We fought with them obviously through two overtimes and shots that we usually hit, weren't falling, you could say fatigue or a lot of different things but they are a great team and they played well," Gay said. "I just wish I would've hit the easy ones (shots) and maybe things would've worked out differently."
Houston held a seemingly comfortable 80-66 lead following a Lin layup with 8:32 remaining in regulation, but was outscored by a 14-2 margin over the next four-plus minutes as the Raptors roared back. Lowry netted the final five points of the run, following up a 26-footer with a successful drive to the hoop that made it a two-point game with 4:27 left.
Terrence Ross' putback of a DeRozan miss knotted the score at 84-84 with 2:24 to go in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors went ahead for the first time since the game's early stages when Amir Johnson's second-chance bucket with 40 seconds left put Houston in an 87-86 hole. Harden was fouled on the ensuing possession but hit just 1-of-2 from the stripe, then missed an open look at the buzzer to bring about overtime.
Houston was in front by a 95-92 margin entering the final minute of the first OT, but Gay kept the Raptors alive with a clutch baseline three with only 0.9 seconds showing.
The Rockets owned a slim 24-20 edge after one quarter, but recorded the first seven points of the second to go ahead by double digits against a cold- shooting Raptors squad that misfired on eight straight field goal attempts to begin the period.
Toronto put forth a 9-2 run, capped by a 3-point play from backup guard Dwight Buycks, to close the gap to 36-32 with five minutes left in the half. However, Houston responded with an 11-2 surge to take a 47-33 lead into the break following a pair of Howard inside buckets in the final minute.
The two field goals closed out a monster first half for Howard, who racked up 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting, pulled down 11 boards and blocked three shots over the initial two quarters.
Parsons' layup and free throw nearly four minutes into the third quarter put Houston up by a 54-37 count, though the Raptors rallied later in the frame to cut the margin. Gay netted five points during an 11-1 spurt, with his pull-up jumper with 4:59 to go in the session pulling Toronto within 55-48.
Gay had 11 points in all for the quarter to help keep the Raptors within striking distance, with the Rockets holding a 71-62 lead into the fourth.