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Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2009

Unselfish play ignites Rockets

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) Missing stars Tracy McGrady and Yao Ming, the Houston Rockets are counting quite a bit on their 3-point shooting early in the season.

News photo
Not this way: New Jersey's Courtney Lee has his shot blocked by Charlotte's Vladimir Radmanovic on Monday night. The Bobcats beat the Nets 79-68. AP PHOTO

So far, it's only gotten them off to a 3-1 start.

Rookie Chase Budinger scored a career-high 17 points and was one of four Houston players with multiple 3-pointers as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 113-96 on Monday.

"We have to manufacture points. We have good shooters on this team, so we're going to be really aggressive," said Shane Battier, who hit three 3-pointers and scored 13. "Some nights it's going to backfire and we're going to look terrible but some nights we can get it rolling and really score a lot of points from beyond the arc."

The Rockets made 10 of 19 3-pointers while winning their third straight.

Houston was 25-58 on the road against the Jazz entering Monday and hadn't won in Utah since spoiling the Jazz's home opener two years ago. The Rockets led by just three entering the fourth quarter, then blew open the game with a 13-0 run early in the final period.

Houston outrebounded Utah 46-38 and had 29 assists to the Jazz's 18. It was the Rockets, not the Jazz, who were passing the ball around for open shots, then kicking it outside.

"I thought tonight we had maybe the best ball movement we've had all year," said Houston coach Rick Adelman, whose team had eight double-digit scorers.

Clippers 93, Timberwolves 90

In Los Angeles, Chris Kaman had 25 points and 11 rebounds, Eric Gordon hit the go-ahead layup with 1:32 to play and the Clippers surged in the fourth quarter to their first victory of the season by beating Minnesota.

Gordon scored 17 points and Baron Davis had 13 points and eight assists for Los Angeles, which stopped its 0-4 start and snapped a three-game home losing streak to the T-Wolves.

Kings 127, Grizzlies 116 (OT)

In Sacramento, Kevin Martin scored 48 points and Beno Udrih hit a game-tying layup in the closing seconds of regulation to give the Kings an overtime triumph over Memphis in their home opener.

Spencer Hawes added 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Udrih scored 16 for the Kings, who gave new coach Paul Westphal his first win with the team.

Bobcats 79, Nets 68

In Charlotte, Gerald Wallace had 24 points and 20 rebounds and the Bobcats held New Jersey without a point for more than 10 minutes in rallying for a victory.

Knicks 117, Hornets 111

In New York, David Lee scored a season-high 28 points, Al Harrington had 13 of his 24 in the fourth quarter and the Knicks earned their first victory of the season.

Chris Duhon finished with 18 points and nine assists for New York (1-3).



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