MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kevin Martin scored 29 points, Aaron Brooks added 17 points and seven assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 113-103 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday night.
Luis Scola also scored 17 points for Houston and Trevor Ariza, Jordan Hill and Jared Jeffries added 12 points each. Jeffries, who grabbed 10 rebounds, scored nine of his points in the fourth to thwart a Memphis rally.
The Rockets led by as many as 14 at the end of the third quarter, but needed to withstand a fourth-quarter rally by Memphis to win their fifth straight in the series.
Jeffries helped keep Memphis from overtaking Houston, scoring eight of the Rockets' 10 points during one stretch midway through the fourth.
The Grizzlies were within 103-101 after a pair of free throws by Conley with 2:26 left. But Brooks scored on a pair of layups and the Grizzlies couldn't recover.
Martin, who returned Sunday after missing five games with a sprained left shoulder, had 11 points in the first quarter, part of 17 in the half.
As might be expected with both teams out of playoff position, the game was sloppy at times. Turnover after turnover came from weak and mishandled passes, coupled with poor ball handling.
The Grizzlies ended the night with 16 turnovers. The Rockets had 13.
The Rockets also held an advantage at the line, connecting on 29 of 33, including Martin hitting all 12 of his free throws. Memphis was 12 of 16 from the line.
The Rockets carried a 59-55 lead into the break.
Houston built the biggest lead of the game in the third quarter. The Rockets outscored the Grizzlies 29-19, as Brooks hit three 3-pointers. Kyle Lowry's 20-footer at the end of the quarter gave the Rockets a 88-74 lead entering the fourth.
Memphis opened the final quarter with 10 unanswered points to make the game interesting, but could never overtake Houston.
NOTES: Rockets F Shane Battier, a Duke alum, was in Indianapolis on Monday night for the Blue Devils' national championship win. Houston played the Pacers in Indianapolis on Sunday, a scheduling move that worked to Battier's advantage. Battier met his teammates in Memphis instead of flying straight to Houston even though he was inactive for the Memphis game with a left knee sprain. Young set a career-high in blocks with four. Brooks' three buckets from outside the arc gave him with 192 for the season. That tied him with Rafer Alston for most 3-pointers in a season for the franchise. The 10-point loss was actually the closest Memphis has come to defeating the Rockets this season. Houston won the previous three meetings by an average of 18.7 points.