Rockets beat Nuggets for 12th straight win
DENVER — James Harden had 41 points and eight rebounds, Chris Paul scored 23 points; and the Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 119-114 on Sunday night for their 12th straight victory.
Harden had 27 in the first half and seven in the fourth quarter, when the Rockets held off a late Denver rally. Harden has scored 40 or more points nine times this season. He finished with seven assists.
Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 14 rebounds for Denver, which had its four-game winning streak snapped. Will Barton added 25 points.
The Rockets are 21-4 since December 29 and own the best record (46-13) in the NBA. They are outscoring teams by an average of 12.5 points during the 12-game winning streak. The five-point win Sunday was their closest game during the streak.
Harden scored 14 points in the last 2:47 of the first quarter and assisted on Houston’s other two baskets to end the period when the Rockets extended the lead from five to 13.
Houston led by as many as 18 but Denver rallied in the fourth. Jokic’s tip with 2:12 left made it 110-106 and after Joe Johnson missed from the corner, Gary Harris had a chance to cut it to a point with a 3-pointer. But the Nuggets’ leading scorer, who finished with six points on 2-of-12 shooting, misfired and Harden hit two more free throws to make it 112-106 with 1:17 left.
His step-back jumper with 46 seconds left clinched it for Houston. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.