March 16, 2019 / 3:02 AM / 5 months ago

Harden scores 41, adds big assist as Rockets fend off Suns

EditorsNote: fixes paragraph spacing on last three graphs

Mar 15, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni talks with the media before the Rockets played the Phoenix Suns at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden recorded a double-double, with his final assist resulting in a critical basket that helped cement the Houston Rockets’ 108-102 win over the visiting Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Harden posted 41 points and 11 assists and finished a rebound shy of a triple-double. He added six steals, but his final assist, a pass that resulted in a Danuel House Jr. 3-pointer with just under a minute left, provided Houston a 105-100 lead and sealed the Rockets’ 10th win in 11 games.

House, seeing his first action since Jan. 14 after a contract dispute punched his ticket back to the G-League, scored 18 points and finished 4 of 8 from behind the arc.

House, who was inserted into the starting lineup in place of guard Chris Paul (rest), added three rebounds in 35 minutes.

House challenged a layup by the Suns’ Josh Jackson inside the final 30 seconds. He was whistled for the foul but Jackson missed both free throws with the Suns down three.

Eric Gordon followed a 1-for-7 start on shooting 3-pointers to hit consecutive treys through the fourth quarter on his way to 19 points. Clint Capela added 14 points and 11 rebounds in what was a spirited battle with Suns rookie center Deandre Ayton (17 points, 14 boards).

Devin Booker scored 29 points for the Suns, including 14 in the third quarter. Kelly Oubre Jr. tallied 17 of his 22 points in the first half. Jackson added 13 points but shot 5 of 15 overall.

Ayton and Richaun Holmes provided early interior thrust for Phoenix, combining for 12 first-quarter points as Phoenix produced 20 points in the paint in the period. Yet Houston pushed back against an early eight-point deficit and seized the lead early in the second when Austin Rivers converted a layup for a 34-33 advantage. From there, momentum swung like a pendulum.

There were 12 lead changes in the second period.

Capela recorded a three-point play and two seismic dunks during one stretch, but the Suns inched ahead 51-49 on an Oubre basket in the lane.

When Oubre and Booker added 3-pointers down the stretch, with Booker beating the first-half buzzer, the Suns carried a 57-55 advantage into the intermission.

—Field Level Media

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below