The Rockets managed to fend off the Raptors bench mob unit, and trailed by 15 heading into the break.
Instead of giving credit to the Toronto Raptors, it was reported that Cleveland was in a mid-season funk and having some internal/personnel struggles, including MSN's headline: Can the Cavaliers pull themselves out of their latest mid-season slump?
The Houston Rockets saw their 17-game winning streak come to an end after a 108-105 defeat at the Toronto Raptors.
A desperation jumper by James Harden from the midcourt logo - not far from where Drake spoke into a microphone a couple of hours earlier - caught nothing but air at the buzzer as the Raptors swept the season series between the teams now atop the respective conference standings. Houston traveled to Toronto for Friday's matchup and both teams were considered even with the Rockets holding the record for the best team on the road while the Raptors having proved their mettle on their home court.
"That was our game plan, to keep them inside the 3", Lowry said.
The Rockets were 1 for 12 from 3-point range before Harden drained back-to-back shots with 2:48 left in the third. Jarell Martin contributed 13, while making only five of his 15 shots as Memphis shot 37 percent for the game.
Houston entered the night averaging 15.5 3s made and 42.4 3s attempted per game, both figures significantly higher than the National Basketball Association records set by last season's Rockets. Lowry was 7-of-9 from beyond the arc.
DeMar DeRozan answered a game-tying 3-pointer by Rockets guard James Harden with a hard turnaround jumper over Harden to reclaim the lead with 1:49 left.
James Harden finished with a game-high 40 points, but he missed his final three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have sent the game into overtime.
The Rockets were down by 17 with less than 5 minutes to play in the 3rd quarter.
"We didn't match their intensity until late", Paul said. That should scare Toronto's first post-season opponent, as the Raptors were a league-best 27-5 at home heading into Thursday's action.
The Rockets shot 9 for 27 from 3-point range, matching their fewest made 3-pointers of the season.
Chris Paul had a chance to give Houston the lead with 14.5 seconds left but missed an open three-pointer.
Houston had its worst first-quarter scoring output (16 points) and field goal percentage (28.6 on 6-of-21 shooting).
Houston will try to get back on the right side of the scoreboard Sunday night when they travel to Dallas to take on the Mavericks.