(The Sports Xchange) - Houston Rockets forward Corey Brewer had a season-high 24 points and made two three-pointers in the final two minutes to lead his team to a 111-105 victory over the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena on Thursday.
Brewer hit back-to-back threes from the left corner, the second on a third-chance possession, and forward Trevor Ariza had 20 points as the Rockets survived a sub-par shooting night from guard James Harden.
Harden had 19 points on 4-of-19 shooting the field. He entered the game with a 27.9 point scoring average, second in the league to Warriors guard Steph Curry. Harden had nine rebounds and six assists.
Brewer’s three-pointer with 1:10 remaining gave Houston a 108-101 lead.
Archie Goodwin made a driving layup with 22.1 seconds remaining to bring the Suns within three at 108-105 but guard Patrick Beverley made two free throws and Ariza turned a steal into a fastbreak dunk on the Suns’ next possession.
Goodwin had 22 points for the Suns (14-37), who have lost six in a row, 12 of their last 13 and 21 of their last 23.
Houston center Dwight Howard had five points and 16 rebounds in his first game after serving a one-game suspension for pushing the arm of official Mitchell Ervin following a tussle with Wizards’ center Nene on Jan. 30.
Reserve guard Ty Lawson had 12 points and on 4-of-6 three-pointers.
Guard Devin Booker had 17 points and forward Mirza Teletovic had 15, including the Suns’ first 10 of the fourth quarter during a 15-3 run that gave them a 95-91 lead.
Houston (27-25) lost three of the last four after a three-game winning streak.
The Suns scored 20 of the first 25 points and Rockets interim coach J. B. Bickerstaff replaced his entire starting five when the score reached 15-5 on P.J. Tucker’s three-pointer after 3 1/2 minutes.
Houston made three of its first 16 field goal attempts.
The Rockets played the rest of the quarter with their reserves and the Suns finished with a 28-19 edge, their largest lead after one quarter since Dec. 18, a span of 23 games.
Houston’s starters began the second quarter, and Harden and Ariza played the entire period. Harden was 1-of-6 from the field in the first half while being covered principally by Tucker.
Editing by John O'Brien