LOS ANGELES, USA – James Harden drained 8 three-pointers en route to a season-high 40 points as the Houston Rockets won their first home game with a 115-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Harden added 9 assists and 7 rebounds and Chris Paul tallied 26 points for the Rockets, who had lost their first 4 home games of the season.
“It’s nice to get a win,” Paul said. “We’ve obviously been struggling, but we’ve got to keep building.”
The win comes as the Rockets try to figure out what to do with journeyman Carmelo Anthony, whose poor play has mirrored the Rockets’ start.
Anthony, who is in his first year in Houston, sat out for the second straight game with what the team described as an undisclosed illness. US media is reporting that Anthony can expect to be waived soon.
Victor Oladipo had 22 points for the Pacers, who have lost 3 of their last 4 games.
The Pacers went on a five-point burst late in the 4th to cut the Rockets lead to just 5, but Harden answered with two free throws to help put the game out of reach.
“When we’re like that we’re going to score a bunch of points and if our defense can keep improving then we’re the team that we want to be,” coach Mike D’Antoni said.
Bucks beat Nuggets
Elsewhere, Brook Lopez drilling in a career-high 8 three-pointers as all 5 Milwaukee starters finished in double figures to lead the Bucks to a 121-114 win over the Denver Nuggets.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, Khris Middleton had 21 points, and Malcom Brogdon added 20 for the Bucks, who recorded their first win in Denver since 2010.
“We do not want to be a good team, we want to be a great team,” Antetokounmpo said. “Great teams, no matter what, come back.”
“You’ve got to keep fighting and keep playing within your game plan and you hope things work. You hope you can knock down shots. That’s what we did.”
Paul Milsap led the Nuggets with 25 points and Nikola Jokic added 20. Denver has lost 3 straight.
Lopez didn’t make a single basket from beyond the arc in his first 6 NBA seasons, but he’s transformed into a consistent three-point threat.
Lopez made at least 6 three-pointers in 3 of his last 4 games and is shooting 38.8 percent from deep this season.
The game remained tight until Brogdon connected on a three-pointer and Middleton nailed a jump shot to give the Bucks a 117-112 lead with 41 seconds remaining. – Rappler.com