James Harden scored 41 points as the red-hot Houston Rockets held off the host New Orleans Pelicans 108-104 on Saturday night.
Harden had his third straight game with at least 40 points and his seventh straight with at least 35 as the Rockets won for the ninth time in 10 games.
Eric Gordon added 21 points, Danuel House Jr. scored 15 and recently signed Austin Rivers came off the bench to score 10.
Julius Randle had 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Pelicans, who lost for the sixth time in seven games. Anthony Davis, who scored a season-high 48 points and graded 17 rebounds while playing nearly 43 minutes a night earlier, had 22 points and 11 rebounds. E’Twaun Moore scored 21 and Jrue Holiday had 20.
The Rockets increased their three-point halftime lead to nine on three occasions and held an eight-point advantage before the Pelicans made a third-quarter run.
Holiday scored five points, then Ian Clark made a 3-pointer, and Holiday added a steal and layup that completed a 10-0 run to give New Orleans a 72-70 lead.
The lead changed hands five times, the fifth change coming when Gordon made a layup that gave Houston a 77-76 lead after three quarters.
The Rockets scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter and eventually extended the lead to 15 midway through the quarter before going cold.
Moore and Davis each made a 3-pointer to start a 12-0 run that got New Orleans within 101-98.
Harden made two free throws with 1:09 left and Davis had a chance to answer, but made just one of two free throws.
House made one of two and Davis dunked to cut the lead to 104-101 with 19.5 seconds left.
P.J. Tucker made two free throws and New Orleans turned the ball over.
Houston led 30-20 after the first quarter and extended the lead to as many as 13 points early in the second quarter before the Pelicans came back. They got within two points on three occasions before Houston finished with a 53-50 halftime lead as Harden had 26 points and Randle had 16.
—Field Level Media