James Harden scores 38 as Rockets ride huge second quarter to victory over slumping Bucks
Houston's James Harden scores on a dunk as Milwaukee's Giannis Antetokounmpo looks on. AP

THE Rockets rode a huge second quarter to victory over the slumping Milwaukee Bucks, 111-92, on Wednesday in Houston (Thursday, Manila time).

James Harden showed the way as the Rockets overpowered the Bucks in the second 30-12 and held on to get back on the winning track after absorbing a loss to the Miami Heat.

The victory also gives the Rockets some boost ahead of the showdown with the NBA-best Golden State Warriors.

Harden wound up with 38 points, making 14 of 25 field goal attempts, while also issuing eight assists.

Eric Gordon came off the bench to score 25 as the Rockets notched their 33rd win in 45 games.

The Bucks absorbed their third straight loss and 21st in 41 outings.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had a huge double-double of 32 points and 11 rebounds, while Jabari Parker scored 15 on 5 of 15 shooting.

Michael Beasley was the only other Milwaukee player to score in double figures with 14.

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