Chandler Parsons scored 21 points, Dwight Howard had 20 points and 17 rebounds and the Houston Rockets beat the shorthanded San Antonio Spurs, 104-98, at the Toyota Center Monday night, clinching the Western Conference's No. 4 seed.
Kawhi Leonard, Danny Green, Tiago Splitter and Patty Mills all sat for the Spurs, and none of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili played in the fourth quarter.
Still, San Antonio somehow managed to make this game competitive, and it actually led by five points late in the fourth quarter thanks to impressive play from Marco Belinelli, who led Gregg Popovich's club with 17 points.
Big offensive rebounds from Howard and Terrence Jones helped the Rockets rally, though, with those two big men combining for nine offensive boards in total over the course of the game.
James Harden struggled mightily in this one, going 4-for-16 from the floor, but Howard picked him up with a 9-for-11 performance. Also, Parsons scored 14 of his 21 points in the third quarter when Houston built a 14-point lead.
A 23-4 by the Spurs spanning the third and fourth periods put quite the scare into the Rockets, but in the end, Houston's starters proved too much for the likes of Aron Baynes, Cory Joseph, Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye.
The Rockets, who completed a four-game season sweep of San Antonio with the win, will have home court advantage when they face the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the playoffs.
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