Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
The Memphis Grizzlies and San Antonio Spurs continued their strangle hold over the Southwest Division, beating the Rockets and Hornets to headline Friday's action.
The Spurs scored 29 points in the first quarter and never trailed against the Rockets. Five players scored in double figures, while every Spur played and scored. James Harden led all scorers with 29 points, but was the only member of the Rockets who could get anything going on offense. The win moved the Spurs to 16-4, while the Rockets fell to 9-9. Houston now heads back home, where it hosts the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night. The Mavs are coming off a 97-94 win over the Phoenix Suns Thursday night.
The New Orleans Hornets made things interesting in the second half, but the Memphis Grizzlies ultimately proved to be too much, winning 96-89. After trailing 51-39 at halftime, the Hornets outscored the Memphis 27-20 in the third quarter. A Brian Roberts jumper made the score 71-70 early in the fourth quarter, but the Hornets never managed to take the lead, trading baskets with Memphis for much of the fourth quarter. Rudy Gay hit a three with just over two minutes left to stretch the Grizzlies lead to 94-87, putting the game away. Gay led all scorers with 28 points.
The win moved Memphis to a league-best 14-3, while the Hornets are now 5-13 and have lost eight of their last 10. Hornets rookie Anthony Davis missed his 10th straight game with an ankle injury.