Harden, Asik lead Rockets over Nets

Updated: 2013-01-28 05:47

By Associated Press in Houston (China Daily)

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 Harden, Asik lead Rockets over Nets

Jeremy Lin (left) of the Houston Rockets looks to pass against C.J. Watson of the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday in Houston. Houston beat the Nets for the 12th consecutive time. Scott Halleran / AFP

Jeremy Lin said the Houston Rockets just needed to see what they were doing wrong in order to fix it.

James Harden scored 29 points, Chandler Parsons added 16 points and a career-high 11 assists and the Rockets dominated inside to beat Brooklyn 119-106 on Saturday night for their 12th consecutive win over the Nets.

Omer Asik had 20 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, which outrebounded the Nets 50-31 and outscored Brooklyn 60-24 in the paint. Houston had 31 assists on 43 field goals and committed only 11 turnovers, the team's lowest total in three weeks.

The Rockets dropped seven in a row from Jan 9-19, and Lin said a lengthy film session on Thursday helped them correct their mistakes.

"We weren't doing what we were supposed to do," Lin said. "The coaches showed us a few days ago what we can look like. That was a nice reminder to all of us." Harden, Asik lead Rockets over Nets

Nets star Deron Williams scored 27 points, but cooled off after a 20-point first quarter. He was ejected with 1:07 left after arguing a call with referee David Jones and didn't speak to the media after the game.

The individual duel between Lin and Williams became a backstory as the Rockets pulled away.

Lin had his breakout game against Williams last Feb 4, scoring 25 points and launching "Linsanity" in a 99-92 victory for the New York Knicks. Williams scored 38 points the next time they met at Madison Square Garden, leading the Nets to a 100-92 win.

Houston nabbed Lin in the offseason, and Raymond Felton replaced Lin in the Knicks' lineup. Williams said before the season that he thought Felton was the better point guard.

Lin downplayed the matchup with Williams and deflected another round of questions about his rise to stardom in New York last year.

"That's well beyond me," Lin said with an easy smile. "I'm well past that."

But Williams seemed pretty determined at the beginning of the game, scoring Brooklyn's first nine points, and 17 of its first 22. He started 7 for 7 and just beat the first-quarter buzzer with his fourth 3-pointer to put Brooklyn up 29-28.

He went 3 for 8 over the final three quarters, as the Rockets swarmed him with multiple players.

"We were just trying to make it difficult (on Williams)," Lin said. "We had extra guys coming in to protect on when he would drive. We just tried to load on him really fast."

Brook Lopez scored 21 points and Joe Johnson added 13 for Brooklyn, which trailed by as much as 18 in the first half.

"We dug a hole because we weren't defending well or we couldn't put the ball in the basket," Nets coach P.J. Carlesimo said.

(China Daily 01/28/2013 page24)