Harden scores 46 as Rockets prevail
James Harden finally beat his former team Wednesday night. It took the best game of his career to get it done. Harden scored a career-high...
AP Sports Writer; AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON — James Harden finally beat his former team Wednesday night.
It took the best game of his career to get it done.
Harden scored a career-high 46 points and Jeremy Lin added 29 as the Houston Rockets mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback for a 122-119 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
"I just told the guys on the court that we've got to do whatever it takes, we've got to get some stops together and make some shots," Harden said. "It's not going to be easy. They're a very good team. But we got some stops at the right time and guys made good shots."
Houston was down by 14 points with about seven minutes left. The Rockets used a 21-4 run to erase the deficit and take a 114-111 lead with 1:46 remaining. Harden stepped back under heavy pressure from Serge Ibaka to sink a three to tie it, before Lin connected on one seconds later to give the Rockets their first lead of the second half.
Harden, traded from Oklahoma City to Houston before the season, made a bucket before Ibaka made two free throws. Then came another three by Lin to extend the lead to 119-113.
A three-pointer by Russell Westbrook got Oklahoma City within three points, but Lin made one of two free throws to secure the win.
It was Houston's first win this season over the Thunder, which won both previous meetings, including a 30-point victory in the last matchup. The loss extended Oklahoma City's skid to three games.
"He's a phenomenal offensive force," Houston coach Kevin McHale said of Harden. "He can drive it. He's got the ability to shoot it ... to beat you off the bounce. I think he's almost unguardable off the catch."
Kevin Durant summed up the fourth quarter succinctly.
"They got hot, we got cold," Durant said. "They played defense, we didn't."
Thabo Sefolosha led the Thunder with 28 points and had six three-pointers, both career highs.
Westbrook also scored 28 points and added 10 rebounds and eight assists. Durant had 16 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his second career triple-double.
with Kings, Suns
HOUSTON — The Rockets acquired No. 5 pick Thomas Robinson and forwards Francisco Garcia and Tyler Honeycutt from Sacramento for forward Patrick Patterson, center Cole Aldrich and point guard Toney Douglas.
The Rockets also reached an agreement to send forward Marcus Morris to Phoenix for a future second-round pick. Morris will join twin brother Markieff on the Phoenix roster.
• Dwight Howard had 24 points and 12 rebounds in helping the host Los Angeles Lakers to a 113-99 victory over the Boston Celtics in their first game since the death of owner Jerry Buss.
• Former Cougars star Klay Thompson had 28 points and eight rebounds as the host Golden State Warriors snapped a six-game losing streak by beating the Phoenix Suns 108-98.
• Miami scored the first 13 points of the fourth quarter to erase Atlanta's 10-point lead and the visiting Heat, led by LeBron James' 24 points, beat the Hawks 103-90 to extend its season-best winning streak to eight games.
• Kyrie Irving scored 20 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter to lead the host Cleveland Cavaliers to a 105-100 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
• Paul George scored 27 points and the host Indiana Pacers powered their way closer to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference by beating the New York Knicks 125-91.