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News » Rockets get back on feet and knock out Thunder Rebounds vital as Brooks sparks comeback victory ROCKETS: Brooks locates his shot

Rockets get back on feet and knock out Thunder Rebounds vital as Brooks sparks comeback victory ROCKETS: Brooks locates his shot

Rockets get back on feet and knock out Thunder Rebounds vital as Brooks sparks comeback victory ROCKETS: Brooks locates his shotRockets update

Sunday: Rockets 100, Thunder 91.

Record: 9-8.

Wednesday: at L.A. Clippers, 9:30 p.m.

TV/radio: FSH; 610 AM and 850 AM (Spanish).

OKLAHOMA CITY - Accustomed as the Rockets are to being short-handed, they could not have expected this.

Luis Scola, who never has missed an NBA game, plays every summer possible for Argentina and cannot remember the last time he sat out a game that counts, went down in the first half-minute and did not return.

Thunder center Etan Thomas had smacked him on a dunk, cutting open on Scola's right eyelid a gash that took seven stitches to close. When Carl Landry picked up three quick fouls, the Rockets began searching so far down their bench for help, if Tracy McGrady had picked this game to get in uniform (and somehow snuck on the active list), he might have gotten in.

Instead, as if all they needed was more adversity, the Rockets rallied in the second half. Aaron Brooks rediscovered his shot and combined with Landry to lead the Rockets to a 100-91 comeback win, snapping their two-game losing streak with their 12th consecutive win over the Thunder going back to their days in Seattle.

But that was not the only thing familiar about the game for a team whose veterans are used to seeing players go out.

"Most of the guys on the team aren't used to that type of adjustment," Landry said. "Hey, they better start. It's a long season. Players are going to get hurt. They're going to be out for a while. You never know when your number is going to be called. When it does, you have to be ready."

For most of the first half, the Rockets missed Scola and Landry, by far their most accurate shooters this season. The Thunder led by as much as 10. The Rockets made just 36 percent of their shots in the half. The Thunder seemed one brief run from a rout.

Second-chance points

But unable to make shots, the Rockets found a way to make that work. They kept missing shots but built a comeback on getting the rebound and trying again. They scored 23 second-chance points on a season-high 23 offensive rebounds.

"With Luis going down and Carl getting in foul trouble, we were trying to search for how we're going to get any rhythm in this game," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "I think that did hurt us, not having those guys around for the first half.

"The way we were shooting, we've got to get them back. You shoot 40 percent on the road, something has to happen. You've got to get offensive boards. You have to do a lot of things to win."

Their domination of the offensive boards was enough to bring the Rockets back to a slim lead. David Andersen, who had 12 points and eight boards, grabbed an offensive rebound and passed to Landry for a layup. Chase Budinger hit a 3. And Andersen put in a jumper to complete the comeback and give the Rockets a five-point lead with eight minutes left.

But they did not pull away until Brooks drove the Rockets' fourth-quarter surge. With the Thunder within two with five minutes remaining, Brooks hit a 3, scored on a drive and then knocked down a pull-up jumper, scoring seven points in 2? minutes.

After a 1-for-6 first half, Brooks made seven of his nine shots in the second half to score 18 of his 21 points, adding a career-high five steals. Landry had 17 of his 21 points in the second half, adding a game-high 10 rebounds.

"It was a great win, a great win," Adelman said. "The first half, Luis gets hurt right away, and Carl gets three fouls. I put everybody in. Everybody contributed. The second half, we just stayed with it."

Overcoming adversity

It was like many of the Rockets' favorite wins, taken when things looked bleak with the training room crowded.

"I kept looking for a Luis sighting, but he never came back out," Brooks said. "At first, I didn't think he looked that bad.

"Then to come in here and see he looked like Captain Hook (with an eye patch), I feel bad for him. We had to pull it out for him."

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Added: December 3, 2009


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