Mon, Dec 09, 2019 - Page 10 News List

Harden surges late for Rockets

SOLE SCORER:The score in their game against the Suns was tied with about seven minutes left before James Harden scored all of the Rockets’ points in a 13-6 sequence

AP and AFP, HOUSTON, Texas

The Houston Rockets’ James Harden, center, drives toward the basket as the Phoenix Suns’ Ricky Rubio, right, and Devin Booker, second left, defend during their NBA game in Houston, Texas, on Saturday.

Photo: AP

On a night when James Harden’s shots were not falling for three quarters, the Houston Rockets got big performances from those in supporting roles until the star stepped up late to close out the victory.

Harden scored 18 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Ben McLemore added 27 to help the Rockets outlast the Phoenix Suns 115-109 on Saturday.

Harden had a tough shooting night through three quarters and was five of 19 overall and one of 10 from beyond the three-point arc with 16 points before getting going in the fourth. The game was tied with about seven minutes left and he scored all of Houston’s points in a 13-6 run that made it 102-95.

“That’s how deep we are,” Harden said. “We have a really good team and guys that can make plays and knock down shots. More importantly we were focused on our defense.”

Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his third straight triple-double and sixth this season. Harden finished eight of 27, three of 17 on threes and made 15 of 18 free throws.

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points after scoring a season-high 44 in an overtime victory at New Orleans on Thursday night.

Phoenix coach Monty Williams was proud of his team for staying in it until the very end.

“We have a mentality that we just don’t give in,” Williams said. “We’re playing young guys that are learning how to play against physical NBA men and that’s part of developing.”

The Suns cut the lead to five twice in the last 90 seconds, but both times Westbrook made a layup to extend the advantage. The second time he was fouled on the shot and made the free throw to make the score 114-106.

In Los Angeles, Slovenian sensation Luka Doncic put his name alongside that of NBA icon Michael Jordan as he scored 26 points in the Dallas Mavericks’ 130-84 rout of the New Orleans Pelicans.

Doncic also handed out nine assists and grabbed six rebounds in 26 minutes on the floor. It was his 18th straight game with at least 20 points, five rebounds and five assists.

That tied him with six-time NBA champion Jordan for the longest such streak since the NBA/ABA merger in the 1970s. The only other player in NBA history to achieve the feat is Oscar Robertson.

The Mavericks’ big win was just one of the blowouts on a night that saw the Philadelphia 76ers crush the Cleveland Cavaliers 141-94 behind 34 points from Ben Simmons.

Elsewhere, the Utah Jazz beat the Memphis Grizzlies 126-112.

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