Basketball

Harden sparks Rockets' 13th straight victory

James Harden scored 26 points, collected 11 rebounds and dished out five assists to lead the Houston Rockets to their 13th consecutive NBA victory, a 96-85 decision over the Utah Jazz yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Luc Mbah a Moute scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and Chris Paul added 15 points, six rebounds and seven assists for the Rockets.

Houston swept the season series with Utah 4-0.

Rudy Gobert led the Jazz with 17 points and added six rebounds. Donovan Mitchell had 16 points and Ricky Rubio added 14. Utah blew a 15-point lead while giving up 22 turnovers.

Houston used an 8-0 run, punctuated by a hook shot from Nene, to take a 14-7 first-quarter lead. Utah answered with a 10-0 run to surge back in front.

Utah claimed their first double-digit lead when Jae Crowder buried another 3-pointer and Alec Burks drilled back-to-back baskets to put the Jazz up 29-19 early in the second quarter.

The Jazz led by as many as 15 points before half-time, going up 44-29 on a dunk from Mitchell.

Houston finally overtook Utah in the third quarter when back-to-back baskets from Trevor Ariza gave the Rockets a 59-57 lead.

The Jazz endured another offensive dry spell, going the final 4:09 of the quarter without a field goal, opening the door for Houston to pull away. - REUTERS

Basketball