Basketball

James Harden erupts as Houston Rockets down LA Clippers

James Harden erupted for a fourth-quarter scoring spree, as the Houston Rockets defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 102-93 yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Harden led the scoring with 47 points, including seven three-pointers, while the former NBA MVP also added six rebounds and seven assists.

The Houston talisman's tally included a 17-point run late in the fourth quarter which helped transform an 84-80 deficit with 5min 52sec remaining into victory.

Harden shouldered the bulk of the Rockets' offensive duties, with Russell Westbrook (17 points) and Clint Capela (12) the only other Houston players to make double figures.

"It's not like we haven't seen it before and we'll see it again," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said of Harden's display.

"He's amazing. He's just a master of the game. It's what I expect. He's a special player, no doubt about it."

The Clippers, meanwhile, were led by Kawhi Leonard, who had 26 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists in a losing effort.

Lou Williams had 20 off the bench for the Clippers, while JaMychal Green added 14 as the Clippers fell to 7-4 with the defeat.

The Clippers also had coach Doc Rivers ejected in a surreal exchange late in the fourth quarter which saw his son - Rockets shooting guard Austin Rivers - urging officials to sanction him.

"It was a really good moment. I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not gonna lie to you. I really did enjoy that," Austin Rivers joked.

The Rockets meanwhile improved to 8-3, leaving them hard on the heels of the Los Angeles Lakers, who coasted to a 120-94 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors.

With the win, the Lakers, who rested Anthony Davis, improved to 9-2, which is their best start since the 2010-11 season (13-2).

They led by as many as 27 points and trailed only once at the start of the game.

LeBron James had 23 points and 12 assists, with 22 points from Kyle Kuzma, and 18 points and 17 rebounds from JaVale McGee. Dwight Howard added 15 points and eight rebounds.

The Warriors are bottom of the Western Conference with a 2-10 record. - AFP, REUTERS


OTHER RESULTS:

Charlotte 117 Memphis 119, Orlando 112 Philadelphia 97, Boston 140 Washington 133, Minnesota 129 San Antonio 114, Portland 106 Toronto 114

Basketball