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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Rockets dominate the Grizzlies, 105-96

The final score was nowhere close to the dismantling the Rockets did of the Grizzlies Wednesday night.

Posted: December 3, 2014 -- 11:00 pm.

HOUSTON, TX (Toyota Center) -- The short-handed Houston Rockets probably surprised many people (other than themselves) with a thorough thumping of the Memphis Grizzlies 105-96 Wednesday evening. The Rockets led by as much as 27 points during the ball game; and, startling efforts from unheralded big men Tarik Black and Joey Dorsey contributed to the victory.

The Rockets converted 21 Grizzlies' turnovers into 30 points.

"We had twenty-one turnovers; and, they outrebounded us (52-39)," said head coach Dave Joerger. "We missed eleven free throws; and, we missed a lot of shots. They were more aggressive and more athletic. They wanted it more and played with a lot of effort."

"Tarik was big on the offensive glass," Kevin McHale said after the game. "He had nine (offensive) boards. Joey gave us great energy running the floor and getting some put backs. That was a good win for us."

Black produced his first double-double of his NBA career with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

"It feels great. It feels great to get the win," Black said. "We really needed that one -- especially the way that they beat us at their house in Memphis."

Meanwhile, Dorsey had a 21 second stint in the second quarter which seemed like he entered a time machine and at the University of Memphis playing for the Tigers. At the 10:27 mark of the second quarter, Dorsey scored a reverse lay-up; 14 seconds later, Dorsey blocked a lay-up attempt by Memphis' Quincy Pondexter; next, Dorsey raced the down and slammed home a put-back.

"I played with a lot of energy," said Dorsey. "That's what coach told me to do: come out and play with high energy."

Those 21 seconds signalled the type of game the Rockets would experience for about 22 more minutes. Dorsey's dunk boosted the Rockets' lead to 40-28; and, though the Grizzlies pulled within seven points (40-33 and 42-35), the Rockets erupted with a 16-5 run to lead 58-40 with 3:03 remaining until halftime.

Houston (14-4) led 58-46 at halftime.

Tarik Black did his best Moses Malone impression with three quick offensive rebounds resulting in a lay-up to begin the scoring in the third quarter. The Rockets added eight more points for a 68-46 lead which led to a timeout by the Grizzlies.

Memphis (15-3) crept within 16 points (70-54) before Jason Terry and Trevor Ariza sank consecutive jump shots. Then, Ariza swiped the ball on two straight possessions and scored for a 79-54 lead.

The rout was on. The Rockets led 94-68 after three quarters. The final score was nowhere close to the dismantling the Rockets did of the Grizzlies Wednesday night.

James Harden scored 21 points (6 of 11 field goals, 7 for 8 free throws) to lead six Rockets in double digits. Ariza and Terry each scored 16 points. Donatas Motiejunas continued his solid play with 15 points and 7 boards. Kostas Papanikolaou added 12 points off the bench and Black chipped in 10 points.

Don't tell Memphis big man Marc Gasol the Rockets' rout is "just one of those games".

"I don't think it's just one of those game," Gasol commented. "Good teams don't just have one of those game. I don't think it's a matter of not making shots. I don't think it's a matter if we defend and we do the things we're supposed to do and that we say we want to do. Those games just don't happen. It's not just one of those games. Really good teams don't have just one of those games. We can't be doing this."

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