Houston Rockets

Harden Leads Houston Past Miami

Harden Leads Houston Past Miami

MIAMI – James Harden scored 41 points and willed the Houston Rockets to a 109-101 victory over the Miami Heat Wednesday night at American Airlines Arena.

Houston (40-13) won their sixth straight game thanks in large part to Harden’s eighth game with at least 40 points this season.

Since entering the league in 2009, Harden has scored 40+ points in 46 career games, which leads the NBA.

The Rockets led 35-24 at the end of the first after closing the quarter on a 10-3 run, capped off by an and-one from Nene Hilario.

The second quarter began much like the first quarter ended, with Houston leading by as many as 17 points with 5:18 left until halftime. Miami fought back, however, closing the quarter on a 10-2 run, with all 10 points coming from Goran Dragic, to cut the lead to just four heading into the break.

The two teams traded punches in the third, with neither team leading by more than eight points in the quarter.

With Harden on the bench to begin the fourth, the Heat grabbed the lead once again early in the quarter, moving ahead 87-85.

Then Harden took over. The NBA frontrunner for MVP drove straight to the hoop after re-entering the game and threw down a one-handed dunk. On the following Rockets’ possession, Harden pulled up and nailed a 3-pointer that would give Houston the lead for good.

The Heat made things interesting down the stretch, cutting the lead to five with 3:45 left to play. Once again, Harden answered the call nailing back-to-back 3-pointers, the second of which being the proverbial dagger coming from deep 3-point-range to give the Rockets a 107-94 lead.

In the loss, Miami had two players score 30 points as both Josh Richardson and Dragic accounted for over half of the team’s points. It was not enough, however, as the rest of the five starters scored just 24 points in the game.

Chris Paul had another solid night for Houston as he produced 24 points, seven rebounds and seven assists while Clint Capela added 13 points and eight boards in the win.

This season, the Rockets are now 24-1 when Capela, Harden and Paul all play in the same game.

Written by: Doug Waters

adam wagner

February 8th, 2018

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