January 16, 2017 / 6:31 AM / 2 years ago

Harden's triple-double leads Rockets past Nets

(Reuters) - Eric Gordon’s sprained left big toe was not normal on Friday and neither was the pace and 3-point rhythm of the Houston Rockets.

Jan 15, 2017; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Sean Kilpatrick (6) goes up for a shot against Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) during the second half at Barclays Center. The Rockets won 137-112. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Pace and rhythm returned in a big way for the Rockets, who also mixed in effective second-half defense against the worst team in the league.

Gordon scored 24 points, James Harden recorded his 12th triple-double of the season with 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as Houston snapped its first losing streak of the season with a 137-112 rout of the Brooklyn Nets Sunday night.

Gordon returned from missing two games with the injury and missed six of nine 3-pointers Friday when the Rockets misfired on 21 of 24 long range attempts after halftime and blew a 16-point lead in a 110-105 loss to the Memphis Grizzlies.

Facing the Nets, Gordon made four 3-pointers, was among four Rockets with four 3s on a night when Houston set a season high with 21 3-pointers, came within three of its season high for points and shot 47.7 percent from the perimeter.

Ariza also rebounded from a rough night and added 23. He tied a season high by hitting six 3s missing five of six Friday.

Montrezel Harrell contributed 16 while Ryan Anderson and Patrick Beverley chipped in 12 apiece.

While the Rockets generated the energy on both ends, the Nets wilted after hanging around in the first halftime. It resulted in their second 10-game losing streak in the last nine months and their most points allowed at Barclays Center.

It also resulted in the first time the Nets allowed at least 130 points in consecutive games since April 15-17, 1987 at Atlanta and Detroit.

Brook Lopez rested for the fourth time and his replacement Justin Hamilton scored 11 points. Trevor Booker led the Nets with 18 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 14, Randy Foye contributed 13 but those figures could not overcome a 50-38 rebounding margin and 18 turnovers.

The Rockets matched their most productive first half of the season despite Harden only scoring nine points.

Houston ripped off 13 straight points in the opening minutes of the third quarter and eventually pushed their lead to 92-73 on two free throws by Anderson with about 4 1/2 minutes left. The Rockets reached the century mark with 1:42 left on a reverse baseline dunk by Sam Dekker, who had another dunk on Houston’s next possession.

Harden ended the third with a spinning foul line jumper over rookie Caris LeVert right before time expired. Harden was on the bench when the Rockets finished it off in the opening minutes of the fourth.

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