Mon, Jan 07, 2013 - Page 20 News List

NBA: Lin scores 20 as Houston down Cleveland Cavaliers

Staff writer, with CNA and AP, HOUSTON, Texas

Jeremy Lin and James Harden together chipped in 49 points as the Houston Rockets beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-104 on Saturday for a second consecutive road victory.

Lin notched up 20 points and five assists in the game at the Quicken Loans Arena. It was the sixth time this season that Lin had reached the 20-point mark.

The Taiwanese-American scored 14 points in the second quarter to help the Rockets recover from a 26-20 deficit and take a 54-50 halftime advantage.

Leading the team with 29 points, Harden erupted in the fourth quarter to score 16 points and propel the Rockets to their fourth straight win.

“James sure made a couple of big shots down the stretch, no doubt about that,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said of Harden after the game, as quoted on the Rockets’ Web site.

“He made some great plays and, as a team, we found a way to make plays through him. He had a very good game for us,” the McHale said.

At one point, the game was tied 78-78, before the Cavaliers gained an 86-85 lead with a little over eight minutes left.

However, Lin edged his team past the Cavs with a layup shot and Harden helped stretch the gap to 94-88, scoring seven straight points, including a 30-foot three pointer.

After that the Cavaliers never got closer than two points.

The Rockets also got a lift from the bench, with Patrick Patterson and Greg Smith scoring a combined 26 points and 17 rebounds, helping to hold off Cavs guard Kyrie Irving’s aggressive play until the final minutes of the game.

Irving racked up a game-high 30 points, including seven straight that pulled his team to within three points with one minute, nine seconds left. However, he also had eight turnovers and an offensive foul against Lin that allowed Harden to extend the lead to seven with 29 seconds left, from which the Cavaliers could not recover.

Harden has topped the 20-point mark in each of his last 16 games.

“We just tried to pack the paint defensively and contest every jumper,” Lin said of the Rockets’ fourth quarter strategy. “We put an emphasis on defensive rebounds. Offensively, we spread the floor. We’re a little more mature in our development so we really understand that late in the fourth we have to trust and depend on each other a little more and tonight was a good example of that.”

The Rockets will face off against the Los Angeles Lakers at the Toyota Center tomorrow.

In other NBA action it was:

‧ Knicks 114, Magic 106

‧Pacers 95, Bucks 80

‧ Celtics 89, Hawks 81

‧ Nets 113, Kings 93

‧ Trail Blazers 102, T-Wolves 97

‧ Spurs 109, 76ers 86

‧ Nuggets 110, Jazz 91

‧ Clippers 115, Warriors 89

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