Harden onslaught lifts rallying Rockets over Blazers
(The Sports Xchange) - Guard James Harden scored 46 points as the Houston Rockets rallied from a 21-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 119-105 at the Moda Center on Thursday.
Harden scored 34 of his points in the second half and center Dwight Howard collected 19 points and 13 rebounds for the Rockets, who won for only the fourth time in 11 outings and ended Portland's six-game winning streak.
Guard Damian Lillard scored 23 points and guard CJ McCollum added 20 for the Trail Blazers, who lost for only the second time in 13 outings.
Houston (29-29) out-scored Portland 33-12 in the fourth quarter to pull off the shocking turnaround victory.
Lillard scored 12 points and McCollum 11 to stake Portland to a 64-49 halftime lead. Harden had 12 points, Beverley 11 and Howard 10 at the break for the Rockets.
The Blazers (30-28) came out of the gates in the third quarter with an 8-2 run to improve their advantage to 21 points before the Rockets closed the gap to 85-75 on back-to-back three-pointers by guard Jason Terry.
Moments later, Harden knocked down successive threes to cut the margin to 91-86, which Portland stretched by a further two points heading into the fourth quarter.
Harden converted a three-point play to start the final period, then scored on a pair of layups to tie the count at 93-93 with 7:40 remaining.
The momentum was now with the Rockets and Harden's lob pass for a Howard dunk gave the Rockets a 97-95 lead and guard Corey Brewer drilled a three-pointer to make it 100-95. Continued...