Harden triple-double boosts Rockets past Sixers

Agence France-Presse
James Harden erupts for a 44-point triple-double as Clint Capela also drops season-high numbers in the Rockets romp


ROCKET POWER. Russell Westbrook and James Harden keep the Rockets in the mix in the Western Conference. Photo from Houston Rockets


LOS ANGELES, USA – James Harden scored 44 points with 11 assists and 11 rebounds, notching his first triple-double of the NBA season to lift the Houston Rockets to a 118-108 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday, January 3 (Saturday, January 4, Philippine time).

Clint Capela added a season-high 30 points with 14 rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 20 points as the Rockets handed the Sixers their fourth straight defeat – a disappointing skid in the wake of their Christmas upset of the Milwaukee Bucks.



The Rockets’ 18-point 3rd quarter lead had dwindled to single digit with 2:07 remaining when Harden drained a step-back three-pointer that boosted the Rockets’ lead to 11.

After another three-pointer, Harden connected with Capela for an alley-oop dunk that capped the scoring with 55.4 seconds left.

The victory kept the Rockets at 4th in the Western Conference with a 24-11 record behind the Los Angeles Lakers (28-7), Denver Nuggets (24-10) and the LA Clippers (25-11).



Harden made 13-of-24 shots. Capela connected on 12-of-16, outplaying Philadelphia star Joel Embiid, who finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds but made just 7-of-17 from the floor.

Ben Simmons led Philadelphia with 29 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists and 4 blocked shots.

The Sixers slipped to 6th in the Eastern Conference with a 23-14 card.



Terrence Ross was the star in Orlando, tying a season-high with 6 three-pointers in the Magic’s 105-85 victory over the Miami Heat.

Ross finished with 25 points and teammate Nikola Vucevic posted his 15th double-double of the season with 20 points and 11 rebounds.

Jimmy Butler scored 23 points for Miami, but the Heat were throttled by the Magic in the 4th quarter when their 6 points matched the lowest total in a quarter by any team in more than two years.

“They absolutely stifled us, choked us offensively,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. – Rappler.com

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