HOUSTON (AP) — Gerald Green made a 3-pointer at the buzzer and the Houston Rockets rallied from a 21-point, second-half deficit for a 104-103 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
The win was Houston’s 11th straight and extended Phoenix’s skid to 14 games.
James Harden hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 101-all with 12 seconds left before rookie Josh Jackson put Phoenix on top with a basket with 1.4 seconds remaining.
After a timeout, Trevor Ariza found Green in the corner and he knocked down the shot to extend Houston’s streak. Green’s teammates mobbed him after the shot and he ended up on his back on the court with a huge grin on his face.
Houston rested Chris Paul, Eric Gordon and Nene after clinching the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference on Thursday with Golden State’s loss to Milwaukee. The Rockets that did play looked uninspired early against the team with the NBA’s worst record, and Houston trailed by 17 at halftime.
They began chipping away at the lead in the third, but never led in the second half until Green’s game-winner.
Harden had 28 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. P.J. Tucker added 18 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers.
Jackson had 27 points for the Suns, who haven’t won since Feb. 28, and Troy Daniels added 23.
The Suns were up by four with about a minute left after a basket by Daniels. Harden missed two free throws soon after that and Tucker made one of two to cut the lead to 101-98 with 46 seconds remaining.
Phoenix was up by 11 to start the fourth and remained up by that margin with about 8 minutes left before Houston scored seven points in a row to cut the lead to 89-85.
Jackson made a layup after that, but Houston scored the next five points, capped by a 3 from Tucker, to get within one with about 5 1/2 minutes left.
The Suns were up by 17 at halftime and had a 14-point lead early in the third when Daniels made three 3-pointers to power a 9-2 run and push the lead to 71-50 with about 8 minutes left in the quarter.
The Rockets finally found a bit of rhythm after that, using a 10-2 spurt to get within 73-60 midway through the quarter.
Joe Johnson scored the last four points of the third to cut Phoenix’s lead to 86-75 entering the fourth.
Tucker got Houston within 3 midway through the second quarter before Phoenix scored the next 12 points to push the lead to 49-34. Danuel House got things going with a 3-pointer and Jackson wrapped it up with seven straight points.
A free throw by Harden cut the lead to 12 later in the quarter, but the Suns scored the last five points of the second quarter to make it 57-40 at halftime.
Suns: Devin Booker missed his seventh straight game with a sprained right hand. … Alex Len sat out for the second straight game with a sprained left ankle. … Phoenix had 17 turnovers.
Rockets: Luc Mbah a Moute returned after missing the last three games with a sore left knee. … Houston signed Tim Quarterman for the rest of the season on Friday. He appeared in 11 games for the Clippers’ G League team this season. … Green finished with 15 points.
Suns: Visit Warriors on Sunday.
Rockets: Visit Spurs on Sunday.