Harden, Jones lead Rockets past Lakers
LOS ANGELES – James Harden scored 25 points, and Dwight Howard added 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Houston Rockets’ second victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in six days, 107-87 on Thursday (Friday Manila time).
Terrence Jones had 16 points to help the Rockets avoid a winless three-game trip. They never trailed in their fifth straight win over the Lakers at Staples Center, Houston’s longest road winning streak in the rivalry’s history.
Kobe Bryant scored 22 points and dunked for the first time in his farewell season, but the Lakers followed up their fourth victory of the season with their 14th loss in 16 games.
Julius Randle added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Lakers, who at least avoided another blowout loss to the Rockets after losing by 29 last week.
Houston has won eight of 12, and Howard has denied a report claiming he is discontented with the Rockets.
Coming off an 18-point win over Milwaukee that was their largest victory in two seasons, the Lakers trimmed Houston’s lead to 81-76 early in the fourth. The Rockets answered with 11 consecutive points, and the Lakers went nearly six minutes without a field goal.
Harden scored 17 points in the first half for the Rockets, who led by 16 points in the opening minutes. Jones added 13 points in the third quarter, and Howard scored 10 in the fourth while Los Angeles intentionally fouled him.
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