Philadelphia 76ers vs. Houston Rockets: Live Score, Results and Game Highlights
The Houston Rockets defeated the Philadelphia 76ers by a score of 125-103 to improve their record to 13-12 on the season, while the Sixers fell to 12-14.
Playing without Jrue Holiday due to a mild foot sprain, the Sixers looked lost on the defensive end, allowing the Rockets to operate their pick-and-roll to perfection.
James Harden led all scorers with 33 points on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting (17-of-18 from the line) while Jeremy Lin scored a very quiet 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting to help the Rockets shoot 56 percent on the evening.
Sixers' guard Evan Turner suffered a mild ankle sprain in the third quarter, forcing him to sit out the remainder of the contest. Once Turner exited, things fell apart for Doug Collins' bunch.
The Sixers have now lost eight of their last 10 games, and will travel to Atlanta on Friday night for a matchup with the Hawks.
The Rockets, on the other hand, have won two straight against Atlantic Division opponents and will host the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.
Keep it locked here on Bleacher Report throughout the night for coverage of all things Sixers-Rockets.
Final Box Scores from this evening's action.
Houston Final Plus/Minus Numbers:
Chandler Parsons: +22
Marcus Morris: +17
Omer Asik: +19
Jeremy Lin: +23
James Harden: +32
Greg Smith: +1
Toney Douglas: +9
Carlos Delfino: -12
Donatas Motiejunas: -5
Cole Aldrich: +2
Terrence Jones: +2
Philadelphia Final Plus/Minus Numbers:
Thaddeus Young: -13
Jason Richardson: -17
Kwame Brown: -7
Evan Turner: -15
Maalik Wayns: -11
Nick Young: -11
Dorell Wright: -10
Spencer Hawes: -8
Lavoy Allen: -5
Arnett Moultrie: -2
Damien Wilkins: -11
Houston 125, Philadelphia 103 - Final
A wire-to-wire victory for Kevin McHale's squad as the Rockets took care of the Sixers, who flashed absolutely no defense without Jrue Holiday. James Harden finished with a game-high 33 points to lead the Rockets, while Dorell Wright and Nick Young combined for 41 points off of the bench to lead the Sixers.
Houston 119, Philadelphia 97 - 3:00 remaining in Q4: After this contest the Sixers will have lost eight of their last ten games, and things could be getting even worse.
If Andrew Bynum's MRI tomorrow doesn't bring about some positive news, talk of the Sixers' season being over may begin to crop up.
Harden Update: He's still really good.
James Harden has 17 FTM. The Sixers have 16. Oh, and the Rockets lead the Sixers, a lot to a little. (More specifically, 119-97).— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) December 20, 2012
Houston 117, Philadelphia 97 - 3:14 remaining in Q4: The Rockets capture their largest lead of the night and James Harden is now over 30 points on the night.
Talk about making 30 points look easy. Harden has more than half of his points from the line, recognizing early on that the Sixers had no one on the interior to stop his dribble-drive.
As for Philly, things are getting very bad.
The Sixers have certainly fallen off a cliff.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) December 20, 2012
Houston 111, Philadelphia 95 - 5:00 remaining in Q4: Toney Douglas knocks down a three and that would appear to be the game.
The Sixers tried to keep this one close but they just didn't have the defense, or any defense, to stay competitive.
Elsewhere, James Harden is very good. Just making that clear if it wasn't already.
James Harden has now scored at least 28 points in six of the past seven games in which he's played.— Jason Friedman (@JasonCFriedman) December 20, 2012
Houston 106, Philadelphia 93 - 5:45 remaining in Q4: The Sixers' bench has 59 points on the night, with Dorell Wright leading the way with 20 of the 59.
Nick Young has contributed 18 points of his own, on a surprisingly efficient 7-of-16 shooting. Well, that's efficient for him anyway.
In other news, here's your Evan Turner injury update:
Evan Turner mild ankle sprain, will not return.— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) December 20, 2012
Houston 102, Philadelphia 90 - 7:00 remaining in Q4: Harden hits 25 points (on just 11 shots) on the night and the Sixers are starting to toss up threes in hopes of mounting a comeback.
Should Harden keep this up, he may have a real shot at the league's scoring title.
Houston 96, Philadelphia 88 - 8:58 remaining in Q4: The Sixers have had the offense to compete with the Rockets all night, but when you're allowing nearly 100 points with nine minutes to go in the fourth quarter, that speaks to some larger issues.
The #sixers offensive production considering their missing their 3 best scorers, 2 best passers, and 3 best rebounders is pretty surprising— Derek Bodner (@derekbodner) December 20, 2012
It's times like these that Sixers fans wish they had Andre Iguodala around to come up with some timely stops.
Houston 96, Philadelphia 82 - 10:26 remaining in Q4: The Sixers' transition defense has been horrid all night long, and Toney Douglas pours in a three on the break to extend the Rockets' lead to 14.
It's beginning to feel like the Rockets have this one in the bag.
Houston 89, Philadelphia 79 - End of Q3: The Sixers were within striking distance, but the Rockets have extended their lead to 10 at the end of three.
It's a positive sign for the Rockets that they were able to outscore the Sixers by five points (33-28) in the third quarter with only four points from James Harden (23 points).
Strong close to 3Q for Rockets, now up 89-79. Greg Smith scored 10 of his 11 total points in 3Q, now 5-5 from field. Rox eFG: 63%— Jason Friedman (@JasonCFriedman) December 20, 2012
Houston 89, Philadelphia 79 - 11 seconds remaining in Q3: Greg Smith with a monster jam cutting in the lane. Smith continues to impress as an undrafted free-agent out of Fresno State.
Smith has eleven points on the night and eight straight.
Greg Smith. #hello— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) December 20, 2012
Houston 81, Philadelphia 75 - 3:01 remaining in Q3: The Rockets refuse to give up their lead, although it's been cut to one and two points respectively at different times throughout the third quarter.
The Sixers have looked surprisingly competent on offense without Turner, but they really lack a go-to scorer without Turner or Holiday.
Houston 77, Philadelphia 73 - 4:39 remaining in Q3: Odd sequence of events as Evan Turner checks back into the game and then returns to the bench less than a minute after.
Logic would say Doug Collins is holding Turner out for a run in the fourth quarter as this one stays close.
Houston 72, Philadelphia 71 - 5:41 remaining in Q3: Thaddeus Young is easily having the best game of any Sixer tonight, and his stat line tells us that.
Young has 13 points, three rebounds and an uncharacteristic five assists on the night. He's also playing his usual solid defense.
Houston 72, Philadelphia 70 - 5:56 remaining in Q3: According to the CSNPhilly broadcast, Evan Turner has a sprained ankle, but WILL return to action tonight.
Meanwhile, Thaddeus Young with a monster slam plus the harm to cut the Houston lead to two.
THADDEUS YOUNG AND-ONE SMASH— Dime Smash! (@DimeSmash) December 20, 2012
Turner's back on the bench. He's taped up and eligible to return, say the Sixers.— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) December 20, 2012
Houston 72, Philadelphia 66 - 6:22 remaining in Q3: James Harden nets his first points of the half as he sinks two free-throws, which makes 21 points overall with nine of them coming from the line.
The Rockets continue to shoot well over 50 percent, but simply don't have the team defense (remember, they rank 20th in the league in defensive efficiency) to limit the Sixers.
Houston 69, Philadelphia 62 - 7:42 remaining in Q3: With Turner out the Sixers are going to be reliant on their shooters (Wright, Richardson and Young) to bring this team back.
So far, Wright's doing his part.
Dorell Wright has scored in double figures in consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 10-12, a span of 17 games.— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) December 20, 2012
Houston 68, Philadelphia 60 - 9:06 remaining in Q3: Oh boy. After making a stellar pass to find Lavoy Allen for a big slam, Evan Turner is down with what appears to be an ankle injury. He's walking gingerly, but this is absolutely the last thing the Sixers need.
With Jrue Holiday and Andrew Bynum already out, the Sixers are without their three best players. Expect Nick Young to log a lot of minutes in Turner's place.
Evan Turner's heading to the locker room limping. Uh oh. #sixers— Christopher A. Vito (@ChrisVito) December 20, 2012
Houston 64, Philadelphia 58 - 9:54 remaining in Q3: Evan Turner has a propensity to let his emotions get the best of him, and it's evident tonight that he's frustrated with his performance thus far.
Turner has just six points on 3-of-7 shooting with two assists and two boards.
Houston 56, Philadelphia 53 - 11:28 remaining in Q3: Dorell Wright starts the third quarter as Maalik Wayns continues to sit.
The Sixers will need Wright's length and his outside shot in order to stay alive.
Houston 56, Philadelphia 51 - Halftime: The Sixers can thank their bench for keeping them in this game, as Dorell Wright, Nick Young, Spencer Hawes and Lavoy Allen have combined for 34 points.
By comparison, the Rockets' bench has just seven points.
Rockets' starters doing all the heavy lifting in 1H while Sixers' staying alive thanks to their bench. 56-51 at break. Harden leads w/ 19.— Jason Friedman (@JasonCFriedman) December 20, 2012
Houston plus/minus numbers from the first half:
Marcus Morris: +12
Chandler Parsons: +11
Omer Asik: +6
Jeremy Lin: +12
James Harden: +13
Greg Smith: -1
Carlos Delfino: -14
Toney Douglas: -7
Donatas Motiejunas: -7
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