James Harden poured in 28 points, including seven in a key final stretch in the last two minutes, as the visiting Houston Rockets rolled past the San Antonio Spurs 102-91 on Thursday at the AT&T Center.
Harden also pulled down 11 rebounds to lead the Rockets to their second win this season in two tries against their Lone Star State rivals.
After trailing by double digits for most of the game, San Antonio got within 92-85 on Bryn Forbes’ 3-pointer with 2:49 to play. Harden answered, as the Rockets had all game, with a 3-pointer and then added another that turned into a four-point play with 1:36 remaining to seal the win.
Gerald Green added 15 points for Houston, while Clint Capela scored 14, Ryan Anderson hit for 13 points and Chris Paul and P.J. Tucker scored 10 points each for the Rockets. Capela grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds.
San Antonio got 22 points from Danny Green, 16 from LaMarcus Aldridge and 11 points from Forbes in the loss. The Spurs committed 16 turnovers to just nine for Houston, owned a 48-30 advantage in points in the paint but never solved Harden or Paul when they had a chance to win the game.
The Rockets all but ran San Antonio out of its own building in the first half, jumping out to a 54-38 halftime lead behind 14 points from Harden, 13 from Green and 11 points by Anderson. Houston, as it did in December the first time these two teams played this season, took the game right at the Spurs, forging a 27-14 advantage at the end of the first quarter.
San Antonio cut the margin to 82-70 by the end of the third quarter and pulled within 82-76 on Darrun Hillard’s jumper with 9:58 remaining. After a timeout, Paul knocked down three consecutive jumpers to re-establish Houston’ 12-point advantage.
Aldridge led the Spurs with 14 points in the half while Green added 11, but no other San Antonio player scored more than five points in the first 24 minutes.
—Field Level Media