James Harden paired a game-high 27 points with eight assists and Clint Capela produced a monster effort on both ends as the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to eight games with a 114-91 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Saturday at Toyota Center.
Houston set a new franchise record with its 59th win, besting the mark set by the 1993-94 NBA champions. The Rockets have won 15 consecutive home games, the second-longest streak in team history, and claimed the season series from the Pelicans by winning three of four games.
Harden surpassed 2,000 points on the season, the first player in the league to do so this season. He has hit that plateau in four consecutive campaigns and five times in six seasons with Houston.
Capela posted 18 points, 16 rebounds and a career-high-tying six blocks in an entertaining battle with Pelicans All-Star Anthony Davis, who totaled 25 points, eight boards and four blocks.
Eric Gordon added 19 points while Gerald Green and Ryan Anderson combined for 30 points off the Houston bench. Reserve Cheick Diallo had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Pelicans.
Harden was electric early and, working in coordination with Capela, pushed the Rockets to an early double-digit advantage. Houston turned a 9-0 run into a 13-point lead and when Harden scored in transition with 4:41 left in the first quarter, the Rockets led 21-6 with Harden and Capela accounting for 18 of those points.
All Houston lacked in the first was perimeter proficiency, with the Rockets connecting on just 1 of 10 3-pointers in the opening period.
They encountered no such issues in the second quarter, drilling 6 of 11 threes to extend their 13-point lead entering the period. Gordon and Anderson opened the second with treys and Harden added back-to-back threes with just over a minute remaining in the half for a 61-35 lead. With the ball in his hands and the clock winding down in the period, Harden hit Gordon for a transition trey that beat the buzzer and extended the lead to 27 points at the intermission.
New Orleans scored 37 points in the half, the lowest scoring first half by a Houston opponent this season.
The Rockets played without point guard Chris Paul, who sat out with a sore hamstring.
—Field Level Media