Nets 105, Rockets 96
Nets 105, Rockets 96: Joe Johnson scored 32 points as Brooklyn clinched a playoff spot with its franchise-record 14th straight home win.
Shaun Livingston scored 17 points and Deron Williams added 12 and a team-high six assists as the Nets snapped a 14-game losing streak against Houston. Andray Blatche chipped in 13 points off the bench for Brooklyn, which moved to within 1 1/2 games of fourth-place Chicago and Atlantic Division-leading Toronto in the fight for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
James Harden made all 16 of his free throws en route to 26 points for the Rockets, who played their second straight game without All-Star center Dwight Howard (ankle). Omer Asik filled in well with a career-high 23 rebounds but Houston dropped its second straight to fall three games behind the Los Angeles Clippers for third place in the West.
The Nets used a 13-6 run - capped by Johnson's basket in the closing seconds - to take a 54-51 lead into halftime. Livingston scored the first four points of an 11-2 surge that put the hosts up 78-67 late in the third but Houston battled back to within a point late in the period.
Johnson buried a 3-pointer in the final minute of the third and Mirza Teletovic had one of his own early in the fourth to put Brooklyn up 87-79. Livingston had a steal and fed Jorge Gutierrez to make it 94-83 midway through the stanza and the Rockets - who shot 38.1 percent from the field - could never get closer than seven points down the stretch.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Brooklyn SG Marcus Thornton (back) missed his second game in less than a week. ... Houston also played without PF Terrence Jones (illness). ... Nets head coach Jason Kidd was named Eastern Conference Coach of the Month for the second time in three months earlier Tuesday.
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