Harden drops triple-double as Rockets rout Cavs
LOS ANGELES, USA – James Harden finished with 43 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to earn his fourth 40-point triple-double of the season as the Houston Rockets hammered the Cleveland Cavaliers, 141-113, in the NBA on Friday, January 11 (Saturday, January 12, Manila time).
Harden set a club record with his 13th 40-point game of the season despite sitting out the 4th quarter with the contest already in hand.
He made all 11 of his free throws and got his 10th rebound with 82 seconds left in the 3rd quarter when Cleveland's Jalen Jones missed a three-point attempt.
Harden said the biggest thing on their mind is winning the top seed in the Western Conference.
"I think we've all had that in the back of our mind. It was just a far reach earlier in the season," Harden said.
"Now it's pretty close. We've just got to continue to do what we've been doing. Playing well, taking care of opportunities like this tonight. Just continue to get better, strive to get better."
Houston used the long ball to dominate Cleveland by draining 16-of-37 shots from beyond the arc.
They set the tone early with a burst of scoring in the first quarter and built that up to a 113-81 lead at the end of the 3rd.
@JHarden13 goes off for 43 PTS, 12 AST, 10 REB in 29:34 of game action in the @HoustonRockets win! #Rockets— NBA (@NBA) January 12, 2019
Harden is the first player in @NBAHistory to record a 40-point triple-double in 30-or-fewer minutes played. pic.twitter.com/mBZ78FW1mF
Harden was 8-of-16 from long range while Austin Rivers, Gerald Green, PJ Tucker, and Gary Clark each hit two three-pointers.
Center Clint Capela finished with 19 points and Rivers tallied 12 points for the Rockets.
Cedi Osman led Cleveland with 15 points while Alec Burks and Collin Sexton combined for 27 points, 10 rebounds and 9 assists.
The lowly Cavaliers suffered their 12th straight loss as they allowed Houston to shoot 56% through 3 quarters.
"We just couldn't stop them," Cavaliers coach Larry Drew said. "They were raining threes all over the place. They broke us down off the dribble. They are in a rhythm now and playing very good basketball." – Rappler.com