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Rockets’ Harden lights up Grizzlies with 57 points

By Reuters - Jan 15,2019 - Last updated at Jan 15,2019

Houston Rockets guard James Harden dunks the ball against the Memphis Grizzlies during their NBA game in Houston on Tuesday (Reuters photo by Troy Taormina)

James Harden scored a season-high 57 points, and the host Houston Rockets survived their first game without centre Clint Capela, pulling away in the second half for a 112-94 victory over the reeling Memphis Grizzlies on Monday.

Harden recorded his 17th consecutive 30-point game, the longest such streak since Wilt Chamberlain had a 20-game run in 1964. Kobe Bryant had a stretch of 16 straight 30-point games in 2003. Harden had 36 points in the first half.

One night after the Rockets lost Capela to a right thumb injury, Harden shot 17 of 33 from the floor, including 6 of 15 on 3-point tries, while converting 17 of 18 free throws. He added nine rebounds and two steals to carry the Rockets for a lengthy stretch, although Houston did not fully extend its margin until several others contributed from deep in the third quarter.

Capela is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.

The Rockets shot 9 of 16 from 3-point range in the third, with Harden responsible for only two of those treys. Austin Rivers and Gerald Green combined for three 3-pointers that helped build the lead to 63-55 before PJ Tucker, Gary Clark and Harden added three additional treys to stretch the advantage to 16.

Harden recorded his second and final assist on the Clark 3-pointer, and his pass following dribble penetration put Green in position to assist on the Tucker trey.

Houston’s Danuel House Jr. tallied 15 points, and Green scored 14 points, 12 of them in the second half. Rivers added 11 points as Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni notched his 600th career victory. Houston have alternated wins and losses the past seven games.

Garrett Temple and Mike Conley scored 14 each for the Grizzlies, who have dropped eight of their past nine games.

Already rolling following a 15-point first quarter on 5-of-7 shooting, Harden exploded for 21 points in the second. His three-point play at the 7:19 mark provided the Rockets a 38-36 lead, and on the ensuing possession, Harden scored through another foul. Harden converted that three-point opportunity as well, continuing a stretch of 11 consecutive Houston points and 17 of the team’s final 19 in the first half.

Harden’s 36 points at the break set a franchise record for the first half and was one shy of the 37 points Vernon Maxwell scored in the second half against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 26, 1991.

Still, despite the heroics from the reigning MVP, the Rockets only led 54-48 at the intermission.

 

Hornets 108, Spurs 93

 

Kemba Walker poured in 33 points and Jeremy Lamb added 19 as visiting Charlotte walked past San Antonio to snap a three-game losing streak.

The game was the first in San Antonio as a member of the visiting team for Charlotte guard Tony Parker, who played for the Spurs for 17 years before signing with the Hornets in the offseason as a free agent. Parker scored eight points, all in the second half.

The contest was also a return to San Antonio for Hornets rookie coach James Borrego, who spent the past four seasons as an assistant with the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 28 points while Derrick White hit for 18.

 

Pelicans 121, 

Clippers 117

 

Anthony Davis overcame a slow start and finished with 46 points and 16 rebounds to lead New Orleans to a win at Los Angeles.

Julius Randle scored 27 points and Jrue Holiday had 19 points and eight assists for the Pelicans, who have won four of five. Davis recorded his 14th straight double-double and 31st of the season.

Montrezl Harrell had 26 points and 10 rebounds for Los Angeles, which has lost three in a row, the past two at home against teams with losing records. Danilo Gallinari added 25 points and Tobias Harris had 21 for the Clippers.

 

Jazz 100, Pistons 94

 

Donovan Mitchell scored 28 points, and Rudy Gobert contributed 18 points and a career-high-tying 25 rebounds to lead Utah, to a victory over Detroit in Salt Lake City.

Kyle Korver scored 19 points off the bench for Utah while Joe Ingles added 13 points and matched his season high with eight assists. The Jazz earned their fourth win in a row despite committing 17 turnovers.

Blake Griffin scored 19 points while Andre Drummond chipped in 15 points and 13 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for the eighth time in 10 games. Reggie Bullock added 13 points as Detroit fell to Utah for the second time this month, having dropped a 110-105 decision in Michigan on January 5.

 

Kings 115, 

Trail Blazers 107

 

Buddy Hield scored 19 points to pace six Sacramento players in double figures as the Kings earned a victory over visiting Portland.

Bogdan Bogdanovic added 18 points off the bench and De’Aaron Fox contributed 16 points and nine assists for the Kings, who have won four consecutive home games and four of five games overall.

Damian Lillard scored 35 points for the Trail Blazers, who had won two games in a row.

 

Nets 109, Celtics 102

 

D’Angelo Russell scored 18 of his 34 points in the third quarter as Brooklyn snapped a 10-game, head-to-head losing streak to Boston by dominating the third quarter in New York.

The Nets pulled away by outscoring Boston 44-21 in the third. During the period, Brooklyn shot 65.4 per cent (17 of 26) and produced its widest point disparity in a third quarter since outscoring Boston by 24 on April 2, 2005.

Rookie Rodion Kurucs added 19 points for the Nets, who won for the 14th time in 19 games. Jayson Tatum led the Celtics with a career-high 34 points while Jaylen Brown added 22. Kyrie Irving (right quad contusion) and Marcus Smart (illness) sat out for the Celtics.

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