Lin finished 10-of-17 from the field and netted nine of his points in the two overtimes to help Houston bounce back from two straight home losses. The Rockets were nearly dealt a third after Toronto rallied from a 17-point third- quarter deficit to force extra time.
“We just have to stick with it,” Howard said. “Second half we didn’t play as good as we wanted to, but we got a good win. We needed on especially at home, and I’m glad we got it.”
Rudy Gay put up 29 points and 10 rebounds for the Raptors before fouling out in the final stages. DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had 22 and 16 points, respectively, in the loss, with Jonas Valanciunas notching a double-double of 10 points and 13 rebounds.
After missing out on a chance to win at the end of regulation and failing to hold onto a four-point lead in the first overtime, the Rockets finally put a game Toronto squad away in the second extra session.
Lin ended Houston’s opening possession with a successful jumper and Harden buried a 3-pointer with 3:19 left for a 100-95 advantage. Lowry sank a pair of triples around another Harden basket, however, and Gay was fouled while canning a short jumper and sunk the bonus shot for a 104-104 tie with 1:50 remaining.
The Raptors didn’t score again, however. Howard grabbed an offensive board and fed Terrence Jones for a go-ahead layup with 1:13 left, and Lin scored in the lane after an unsuccessful offensive trip for Toronto for a four-point spread with 33.4 seconds on the clock.
“We fought with them obviously through two overtimes and shots that we usually hit, weren’t falling, you could say fatigue or a lot of different things but they are a great team and they played well,” Gay said. “I just wish I would’ve hit the easy ones (shots) and maybe things would’ve worked out differently.”
This was the seventh straight loss in Houston for the Raptors.