Harden explodes for 58 points as Rockets cool down Heat
LOS ANGELES, USA –James Harden shouldered the scoring load, delivering his seventh career 50-point, 10-assist performance as the Houston Rockets edged the Miami Heat, 121-118, in the NBA on Thursday, February 28 (Friday, March 1, Manila time)
With Harden in a three-point shooting slump over the last few games, the Rockets have been depending on their reserves to get the job done.
But Harden reasserted himself Thursday in front of a home crowd of 18,100 at the Toyota Center, finishing with 58 points, 10 assists and 7 rebounds on a night when the Rockets had to tinker with their roster because of injuries.
Although shorthanded, the Rockets cooled down a Heat side coming from a rousing upset of the defending champion Golden State Warriors where Dwyane Wade knocked in a buzzer-beater.
Harden got some help down the stretch from Austin Rivers (17 points) and Chris Paul, whose jumper with 46 seconds left followed an errant Harden three-pointer and extended the lead to 3 points.
Coming into the game Harden was just 3-for-31 from beyond the arc in his previous 3 games.
Harden has three 50-point, 10-assist games this season. He had his streak of consecutive 30-point games snapped at 32 on Monday against the Atlanta Hawks.
Last month Harden made a career-high and franchise-record 61 points in a 114-110 win over the lowly New York Knicks.
Miami grabbed a 113-103 lead on a Goran Dragic three pointer with 6:18 remaining, but Houston answered with a 14-0 run to take the lead.
Miami had 7 players scoring in double figures with Dragic and Kelly Olynyk scoring 21 points apiece.
The Heat shot 51.9% overall but went cold at the wrong time, posting only 20 points on 6-for-17 shooting in the final period.
The Rockets were without regulars Eric Gordon (knee), Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf). – Rappler.com