Basketball: Harden on fire for Rockets

United States of America, LeBron James and James Harden celebrate their win against Spain, in the Gold Medal Men's Basketball match, 2012. Photo / Brett Phibbs
United States of America, LeBron James and James Harden celebrate their win against Spain, in the Gold Medal Men's Basketball match, 2012. Photo / Brett Phibbs

James Harden had 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Charlotte Hornets 107-95 for their third straight NBA win yesterday.

It was the 25th time Harden has scored at least 30 points.

Harden was just eight of 21 from the field and had nine turnovers, but turned up his play a notch down the stretch as the Rockets overcame a nine-point, third-quarter deficit.

The Rockets forced the Hornets into a season-high 22 turnovers, leading to 27 points.

Patrick Beverly had 17 points and Montrezl Harrell added 15 off the bench for the Rockets (39-17).

TJ McConnell made the go-ahead jumper with 5.8 seconds remaining.

Dario Saric came off the bench to score 24 points and the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Orlando Magic 112-111.

Russell Westbrook scored 29 points and had his 26th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 118-109.

Westbrook added 12 rebounds and 11 assists in the 63rd triple-double of his career.

Harrison Barnes scored 31 points and the Dallas Mavericks rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Utah Jazz 112-105 in an overtime thriller.

In the day's final game, Isaiah Thomas scored 34 points to help the Boston Celtics rebound from a loss on Thursday to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 120-111. Boston are two and a half games ahead of Toronto in the Eastern Conference's Atlantic Division.

- NZ Herald

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