Harden, Harrell ignite Rockets in rout of Clippers

Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:31am EST
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(The Sports Xchange) - James Harden recorded his seventh triple-double of the season while Montrezl Harrell scored a career-high 29 points off the bench to fuel the Houston Rockets' 140-116 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.

Harden finished with 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists while Harrell helped finish off the Clippers with 13 fourth-quarter points.

Houston led by 25 points midway through the second quarter but needed Harden and Harrell to carry it to victory.

Reserve guard Raymond Felton paired 26 points with eight assists off the bench while centre DeAndre Jordan added 20 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who dropped their fifth consecutive game.

Los Angeles guard Austin Rivers and coach Doc Rivers were ejected 25 seconds apart in the second quarter, with the former sent to the locker room following his contact with official J.T. Orr.

"I didn't do anything wrong," Austin Rivers said. "I reacted to the play. I had no idea (Orr) was there. I was backing up and I said, 'Call the foul.' When I did it I was turning and he was right there and my elbow touched him. I've never in my career put my hands on a ref and I don't ever plan to.

"I didn't mean to touch him. I didn't do anything wrong. I'll stand by that. I didn't do anything wrong."

Instead of coming undone, the shorthanded Clippers rallied following the ejections.

Rockets forward Ryan Anderson sank the technical free throw after the ejection of the elder Rivers, boosting the Houston lead to 60-35 with 6:13 remaining in the first half.   Continued...

Dec 30, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) celebrates after getting an assist to give Harden a triple-double during the fourth quarter against the Los Angeles Clippers at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports