Harden Scores 40 In Rockets Win Over Pelicans

Harden finished an assist shy of a triple-double

Adam Spolane
February 03, 2020 - 12:10 am

Photo by Troy Taormina/USA Today

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- James Harden finished an assist shy of a triple-double as the Rockets beat the New Orleans Pelicans 117-109 Sunday afternoon at Toyota Center.

Harden finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds, and nine assists. He shot 12-of-24 from the field and connected on seven three-pointers as the Rockets improved to 31-18 on the season.

Houston jumped in front 7-2 early, but New Orleans ran off 14 straight points. The Rockets outscored the Pelicans 23-12 for the remainder of the quarter and regained the lead on Ben McLemore's layup with 44.8 seconds left on the clock. Harden scored 14 points in the period. The Rockets pushed the lead to as many as seven, but a Josh Hart three-pointer with 7:33 left before halftime tied the game. The Pelicans took a brief lead when Zion Williams tipped in a Derrick Favors miss, but the Rockets scored the final six points of the half to take a 65-60 lead into the locker room. Harden led all scorers with 26 points, while Williamson led the Pelicans with 15.

The third quarter featured eight ties and five lead changes, but when it ended the Pelicans led 93-92, but after getting out-rebounded 51-22 through three quarters, the Rockets flipped the script in the fourth, out-rebounding New Orleans 21-12, outscoring the Pelicans 25-16. 

New Orleans scored the first four points of the quarter to build their lead to five, but Harden hit a three and then found Russell Westbrook for a layup to tie the game. Danuel House missed his first five three-pointers of the day, but with the Rockets down two, he found the bottom of the net with 8:55 to go and the Rockets led the remainder of the game. House connected again from long range when Westbrook rebounded a Brandon Ingram miss with the Rockets up five and 1:07 to play. He sprinted towards the rim and found House in the right corner for a dagger three, which put the Rockets up by eight.

House finished with eight points and eight rebounds in the fourth quarter, 12 points and 12 rebounds for the game.

Westbrook scored 22 points, while Ben McLemore chipped in 22 off the bench.

Ingram's 28 points led New Orleans, while Williamson added 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The Rockets will be in action again Tuesday night when they host the Charlotte Hornets.