VanVleet scores 21 points and Rockets hold off Spurs 103-101 on an off night for Wembanyama

Tue, Mar 12, 2024
NBA News (AP)

VanVleet scores 21 points and Rockets hold off Spurs 103-101 on an off night for Wembanyama

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Fred VanVleet scored 21 points and the Houston Rockets held off the San Antonio Spurs 103-101 on Tuesday night.

Houston won its fourth straight on the road and is five games behind Golden State for 10th in the Western Conference.

Tre Jones had 22 points and Jeremy Sochan added 21 as San Antonio lost for the fourth time in five games. Victor Wembanyama finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists after a sluggish start.

The Spurs cut the deficit to 99-98 with 19 seconds remaining on Sochan's three-point play off a missed 3-pointer by Wembanyama. But the Rockets were able to stay ahead from the foul line.

At 14-52, San Antonio must finish at least 7-9 to avoid matching the franchise's worst record of 20-62 set in 1997.

Jalen Green had 16 points and Jabari Smith Jr. added 15 for the Rockets, who had seven players score at least eight points.

The Rockets were without Alperen Sengun, who had a career-high 45 points and five blocks along with a season-best 16 rebounds in a 114-101 victory over the Spurs on March 5. Sengun is out indefinitely after sustaining injuries to his right ankle and knee against the Sacramento Kings on Saturday.

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Jones matched a career high with four 3-pointers, all in the first half. He finished 4 for 7 on 3-pointers and was held to six points in the second half.

Jones' output was needed with Keldon Johnson sitting out with a stomach illness and Wembanyama and Devin Vassell having off nights.

Wembanyama and Vassell, the team's leading scorers, were a combined 2 for 7 and had two points apiece with two minutes remaining in the third quarter. Vassell finished with five points and Wembanyama had 11 points in the final 14 minutes of the game.

The Spurs built a 10-point lead to open the game, but the Rockets went on an 8-0 run as soon as Wembanyama went to the bench for a rest.

The Spurs face Denver on Friday in a home game at Austin as part of their regional outreach.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host Washington on Thursday night.

Spurs: Host Denver on Friday night in Austin.

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