Houston, TX (Sports Network) – Courtney Lee was one of seven Rockets in double figures, ending with a team-high 22 points behind five three-pointers, as Houston survived a slow start to down the Nuggets, 121-102.
The Rockets trailed by 13 after the first quarter, then proceeded to outscore the Nuggets by 33 points over the next two frames to pull away for the win.
Aaron Brooks tallied 18 points and fellow reserve Chase Budinger chipped in 15 to help end a two-game skid. Shane Battier totaled 17 points and five assists in the lopsided decision.
Arron Afflalo scored 17 points and Carmelo Anthony tallied 16 for the struggling Nuggets, who have dropped seven of 10 overall.
Denver jumped out to a 14-5 lead 5 1/2 minutes into the game, and Anthony’s bucket in the closing seconds of the first frame yielded a 32-19 margin.
Houston began its rejuvenation with 14-2 run that Brooks capped with two free throws to pull within 47-45 with less than four minutes to go in the half.
Two Luis Scola free throws a little later gave the Rockets their first lead at 53-52, and a Lee three-pointer just before the buzzer resulted in an unlikely 58-54 edge at halftime.
The hosts poured it on in the third, with Battier putting in a layup and a three-pointer to a ignite an 8-0 run that ended in a 75-60 advantage midway through the frame.
Denver hit just one field goal over the final five minutes, and went into the fourth trailing 88-68.
Both benches emptied over the final 12 minutes with the outcome no longer in doubt.
The other double-digit scorers for Houston were: Kevin Martin (13), Jordan Hill (11) and Scola (10). Scola also had a team-high eight rebounds…Chauncey Billups ended with 15 points for the Nuggets…On Wednesday, Houston hosts Philadelphia and Denver visits the Bucks in Milwaukee.
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