Hawks 93, Rockets 87
HOUSTON (AP) _ Grant Long scored 20 points and LaPhonso Ellis scored two late baskets as the Atlanta Hawks held off the Houston Rockets 93-87 on Thursday night.
The Hawks handed the Rockets their first home loss in five games this season but they almost let it get away.
Atlanta was leading 78-64 with 7:42 left when Houston went on a 16-4 run that got the Rockets within two points at 82-80 with 3:39 to go.
Houston’s Cuttino Mobley had 11 fourth quarter points and Matt Bullard had seven points in the final period, but it wasn’t enough. Not even Scottie Pippen’s 15th career triple double of 15 points 10 rebounds and 11 assists was enough.
With Atlanta leading 84-81 with 1:23 to play, Ellis hit consecutive baskets for an 88-81 lead with 57 seconds to go, finishing the Rockets.
Long’s 20 points were a season high and he also had 10 rebounds. Tyrone Corbin scored 17 points.
Hakeem Olajuwon had 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Rockets.
The Hawks took the lead midway in the second quarter and held a 49-42 lead at the half. Houston regained the lead briefly on a jumper by Olajuwon for a 58-57 lead with 4:15 to go in the third quarter.
Long’s basket gave the lead right back and the Hawks went into third fourth quarter leading 66-59.
The Rockets took the early lead behind three quick baskets by Olajuwon, but the Hawks started a 19-10 run with 7:55 left in the second quarter and pulled to a 49-42 lead at the half.
Notes: The Rockets activated Antoine Carr from the injured list and placed Stanley Roberts on the injured list with a right hamstring strain. Carr had been on the Rockets injured list since the season started with a right knee injury. ... Injured Steve Smith (sprained right knee) has led the Hawks in scoring in each of the nine games he’s played. The Hawks are 1-2 with Smith out of the lineup. ... Atlanta’s Alan Henderson needs two rebounds to reach 1,000 for his career.