JAMES Harden recorded his first 50-point triple double as the streaking Houston Rockets won its third straight by beating the slumping New York Knicks, 129-122, on Saturday (Sunday, Manila time).
The bearded guard cooked up a career-best 53 points, 16 rebounds and 17 assists. He also shot a career-high nine 3-pointers from 16 attempts and 14 of 26 overall from the field.
The Rockets made 21 triples, with Eric Gordon sinking five for 15 points and Ryan Anderson, who finished with 25 points, making four of eight from downtown.
The Knicks started strong and led by 11 points in the first but the Rockets came back with strong shooting in the second period and outscored the visiting team 42-23 to finish 69-55 at halftime.
New York rallied in the fourth and cut the deficit to 103-100 with a jumper from Derrick Rose at the 9:19 mark. The undermanned Knicks kept it close in the endgame after a tip shot by Joakim Noah made it 114-111 before Harden led a 7-0 run to extend the lead to 121-111 with 2:26 left in the game.
Brandon Jennings had 32 points and seven assists for New York, which has lost three straight. Derrick Rose added 21 points while center Joakim Noah had 15 points and 16 rebounds.
The Knicks were short-handed, with Courtney Lee, Kristaps Porzingis and Kylie Quinn missing the game with various injuries.