December 22, 2019 / 4:45 AM / a month ago

Harden scores 47 as Rockets soar past Suns

EditorsNote: Minor tweaks

Dec 21, 2019; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) against the Phoenix Suns in the first half at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden drained nine 3-pointers while recording 47 points, six rebounds and seven assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 139-125 victory over the host Phoenix Suns on Saturday night.

Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 10 assists as Houston defeated Phoenix for the 13th consecutive time. Clint Capela registered 14 points and 17 rebounds and Danuel House Jr. added 11 points for the Rockets.

Houston shot a blistering 58.6 percent from the field, including 19 of 41 from 3-point range. Harden hit 15 of 27 shots and was 9 of 19 from behind the arc.

Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 26 points for the Suns, who lost their sixth straight game and 14th in their past 18. Devin Booker added 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds, Elie Okobo tallied 17 points and Ty Jerome added 15 points.

Center Deandre Ayton (ankle) and point guard Ricky Rubio (illness) sat out for the Suns.

Harden had an opportunity for his 24th career 50-point outing but was pulled with 1:39 remaining.

Phoenix shot 51.6 percent from the field and was 8 of 28 from behind the arc. Aron Baynes scored 13 points while Dario Saric and Frank Kaminsky added 10 points apiece for the Suns, who had seven double-digit scorers.

Houston led by five at halftime and opened the lead to 87-75 on Westbrook’s basket with 6:58 left in the third quarter.

Gary Clark buried a 3-pointer with 1.4 seconds left as the Rockets carried a 106-95 advantage into the final quarter.

The Suns trailed 115-107 after Booker’s three-point play with 9:37 left but Westbrook drained a jumper and both House and Harden buried 3-pointers to push the margin to 16 with seven minutes remaining.

Harden drained a 3-pointer and converted a four-point play for Houston’s next seven points to boost the advantage to 130-112 with 5:28 left.

Another Harden 3-pointer pushed the lead to 20 at 136-116 with 3:58 remaining and Houston cruised to the finish.

Harden scored 29 first-half points on 10-of-15 shooting as the Rockets held a 70-65 lead into the break.

He scored 18 on 6-of-7 shooting in the opening quarter but Houston led by just 36-35. The Rockets built a 14-point advantage during the second stanza before Phoenix trimmed it to 60-59 on a basket by Baynes with 2:37 remaining.

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