JAMES Harden powered a third quarter surge to the snap the Houston Rockets out of its first half slumber and cruise past the Charlotte Hornets, 107 95, at the Spectrum Center on Thursday (Friday, Manila time).
Harden flirted with a triple-double anew, falling two assists short as he tallied 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists in Houston’s third straight win to improve to 39-12.
But the Rockets star particularly came alive in the third quarter, matching his 13-point first half output in the period and capped a 20-5 blitz to turn a 60-53 deficit to a 73-65 lead with over four minutes remaining in the quarter.
Houston pushed the tempo even more in the fourth and Charlotte never recovered as Hornets top scorer Kemba Walker only managed to score four points in the entire second half and went scoreless in the fourth.
Harden had plenty of help as five other players scored in double figures led by Patrick Beverley who had 17 points, while Montrez Harrell fired 15 off the bench. Ryan Anderson chipped in 14 markers. Clint Capela and Trevor Ariza scored 11 apiece.
Nic Batum led the Hornets (24-29) with 15 points while Walker added 14.