Harden fires Rockets to eight in a row
After producing his 10th triple-double of the season, it was a single-digit number that brought the biggest smile from James Harden.
He had 40 points, 11 assists, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots but, when asked which of those numbers brought him the most satisfaction, he chose the blocks.
"Key plays at the end of the game," Harden said, after the Houston Rockets' 129-122 comeback victory over the Toronto Raptors at the Air Canada Centre yesterday morning (Singapore time).
"It was a charge. Just try to do the intangible things to help out. Obviously, we know I can hit shots and what-not, but just trying to do the small things that win games."
Both blocks were on Toronto star DeMar DeRozan, the second with 2:01 to play.
The plays helped the Rockets, who trailed by 13 points in the third quarter, rally to extend their winning streak to eight games.
"They put their heads down, attacked our feet," Raptors coach Dwane Casey said.
"There was a stretch where we played good basketball for 39 minutes, but it is a 48-minute game, and we have to extend that."
Harden said the key to the Rockets' success is unselfishness.
He said: "Offensively, we're knocking down shots, we're playing off the catch, we're doing the small things to help each other out."
Harden registered at least a double-double in a 17th consecutive game. He also had two steals and 10 turnovers.
- Brooklyn 95 Philadelphia 105
- Milwaukee Bucks 101 Washington Wizards 107
- LA Clippers 98 Miami Heat 86
- Memphis Grizzlies 88 Utah Jazz 79
- Phoenix Suns 116 Cleveland Cavaliers 120
- Portland Trail Blazers 124 Detroit Pistons 125 (OT)
- Sacramento Kings 106 Golden State Warriors 117
- Los Angeles Lakers 111 Orlando Magic 95.