Harden scores 39, leads Rockets past Spurs 108-101

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 23, 2018 11:41 AM
Harden scores 39, leads Rockets past Spurs 108-101
Houston Rockets guard James Harden reacts after a three point basket late in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018, in Houston. Houston won the game 108-101. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

By Jordan Godwin, Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden had 39 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets past the San Antonio Spurs 108-101 on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time).

Clint Capela had 21 points and a season-high 23 rebounds, and Eric Gordon had 18 points on 4-of-12 shooting from three-point range.

DeMar DeRozan led San Antonio with 28 points and eight assists. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points, and Rudy Gay added 13.

The Rockets were playing without point guard Chris Paul, who suffered a Grade-2 left hamstring strain on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) in Miami and is expected to be out at least two-to-four weeks. Houston entered Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) winless in five games without Paul this season.

The Rockets scored 43 points in the third quarter and carried a 15-point lead in the final period. That followed one of their lowest-scoring first two periods of the season, including a 13-point second quarter. San Antonio led 43-41 at the break.

The Spurs overcame a 17-point, fourth-quarter deficit to briefly take a late lead. But three-pointers by Eric Gordon and Harden in the final two minutes helped put Houston over the top.

In the third quarter, the Rockets made 9-of-13 three-pointers and finished the game with 19 triples on 54 attempts (35.2 percent). The Rockets were two games removed from setting an NBA record with 26 three's in a 136-118 win over Washington.

Danuel House Jr. made his first start of the season for Houston. In 28 minutes, House had four points and three rebounds.

Houston missed its first seven shots of the second quarter and went scoreless through the first five minutes of the period. The Rockets ended up with just 13 points in the second quarter, but trailed by just two points at halftime.

The Rockets opened up the third quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 10-point lead. Houston had a season-high 43 points in the third quarter. That followed a 41-point first half.

The Rockets have won six of their last seven, while the Spurs lost for just the second time in their last nine games.


Spurs: San Antonio fell to 1-8 when being outrebounded by an opponent on the road. The Spurs were outrebounded 58-43 and gave up a season-high 19 offensive rebounds. ... SG Derrick White had three blocks in the game.

Rockets: Backup PG Brandon Knight was playing under a minutes' restriction that was capped at 20, coach Mike D'Antoni said before the game. Knight played 12 minutes in the game. ... SF James Ennis III missed his sixth straight game with a right hamstring strain.


Spurs: Host Nuggets on Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time).

Rockets: Host Thunder on Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time).

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