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Old 03-03-2015, 10:50 PM   #1
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Rockets lose big lead, fall to Hawks 104-96

Jeff Teague scored 25 points, Al Horford added 18 and the NBA-leading Atlanta Hawks rallied from an 18-point deficit to win their fifth straight game, 104-96 over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

James Harden, the league's leading scorer, was serving a one-game suspension and did not play for Houston, but the Rockets led for the most of the game until Teague's 3-pointer with 4:24 remaining put Atlanta up 91-90.

Houston forced a couple of ties in the closing minutes, but never regained the lead.

Jason Terry finished with 21 points in a reserve role and starting forward Terrence Jones had 18 points for Houston, which was attempting to match its season high with a sixth straight victory.

The Rockets led by 18 late in the second quarter and were up nine to begin the fourth, but they unraveled after Paul Millsap blocked Corey Brewer's layup attempt and Teague hit his big 3 from the left wing to bring the capacity crowd to its feet.

Josh Smith and Donatas Motiejunas each scored 14 points for the Rockets, who had won each of their last three games by five points or fewer.

Millsap had 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. DeMarre Carroll hit a critical late 3 and finished with 11 points.

Corey Brewer started for the first time in 34 games for Houston. He scored eight points, going just 4 for 14 from the field, as he replaced Harden.

Harden is expected to be back in the lineup Wednesday when Houston hosts Southwest Division rival Memphis. He was serving a one-game suspension for kicking four-time MVP LeBron James in the groin during Sunday's overtime win over Cleveland.

Trailing 59-45 at halftime, Atlanta cut the lead to seven on Millsap's fast-break layup. Teague and Carroll blocked shots on consecutive Houston possessions before Horford came from behind Jones to pin his layup attempt against the board on a fast-break.

But the Rockets were too quick defensively with their feet for the first 3 1/2 quarters, stepping in Atlanta's passing lanes and contesting nearly every shot.

Houston jumped out to a 14-point lead late in the first on Brewer's fast-break dunk on an alley-oop feed from Smith.

Atlanta pulled within two early in the second on Horford's 20-footer, but the Hawks closed the period by missing 12 of their next 14 field-goal attempts and trailed by 18 at the 1:44 mark on Terrence Jones' free throw.

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