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Old 03-14-2016, 10:10 PM   #1
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Motiejunas and Ariza help Rockets to 130-81 win over Memphis

Donatas Motiejunas scored 18 points, Trevor Ariza had 16 and the Houston Rockets coasted to their most lopsided win of the season, 130-81 over the injury-ravaged Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night.

The Rockets, who never trailed, were up by 24 at halftime and used a 32-point third quarter to extend the lead to 97-54. Houston cleared the bench to start the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.

The largest margin of victory in franchise history is 52 points and the Rockets almost tied it on Monday, but JaMychal Green made a 3-pointer with 5.2 seconds left to cut the lead to 49.

Lance Stephenson missed the game with a sprained right wrist, joining a bevy of other players sitting out with injuries including Mike Conley, Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol, Chris Andersen, Brandan Wright and Vince Carter.

James Harden added 15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for the Rockets, who won for the fourth time in five games.

Jarell Martin led the Grizzlies with 17 points and Matt Barnes had 14.

Houston had a 24-point lead early in the third quarter when a 15-3 run made it 80-45 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the quarter. Harden made three free throws to start that spurt and added five more in that span to help the Rockets put it out of reach. Memphis missed seven shots as Houston padded the lead, with one of the misses coming when Dwight Howard blocked a jump shot by Ryan Hollins.

Memphis managed just 13 points in the third, making just 5 of 25 shots and committing five turnovers in the period.

Michael Beasley, who joined the Rockets last week after playing all season in China, had 11 points and nine rebounds. He missed the early part of the third quarter after getting hit in the left eye just before halftime and receiving five stitches to close a gash on his eyelid.

The Rockets made three 3-pointers in the first two minutes of the game to jump out to a 9-2 lead. Ariza had eight points in a row later in the first quarter, capped by a pair of 3-pointers, to push Houston's lead to 21-6.

Ariza made another 3 not long after that to make it 24-8 before the Grizzlies scored the next eight points, with two 3s from Barnes, to get within eight.

But Houston scored seven straight points after that to make it 31-16 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the quarter.

The Grizzlies got within 10 with about 10 minutes left in the second quarter before the Rockets scored the next eight points to make it 46-28. Houston used another big run a couple of minutes later, this one 10-0, to pad the lead to 56-32.

The Rockets led 65-41 at halftime.

TIP-INS

Grizzlies: Carter was out with a strained left calf. ... Randolph has a sore right knee. ... Conley is out for three to four weeks with Achilles tendinitis in his left foot.

Rockets: Howard got a flagrant 1 foul in the first quarter when he pulled Martin down hard by the shoulders while the pair fought for a rebound. ... F Terrence Jones missed his sixth straight game with an upper respiratory infection.

UP NEXT

Grizzlies: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.

Rockets: Host the Clippers on Wednesday.



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