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Harden Stars In Rockets Win Over Celtics

Harden scores 45 points as Rockets improve to 19-15

December 28, 2018 - 12:07 am

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- James Harden scored 45 points in the Rockets 127-113 win over the Boston Celtics Thursday night at Toyota Center.

Harden shot 11-of-26 from the field, 14-of-17 from the free throw line, and matched a career high with nine makes from behind the 3-point line as hit eclipsed the 30 point mark for the eighth straight game.

The win is the Rockets eighth in the last nine games and it improves their record to 19-15 on the season.

Behind Harden's 17 points, the Rockets led 35-24 after a quarter, and after Austin Rivers and Danuel House knocked down threes to start the second quarter, they built the lead to 17, but Boston closed the half on a 22-7 run to get within two points at halftime. The Celtics tied the game twice in the third quarter before taking a 77-76 lead thanks to a Kyrie Irving layup with 4:22 left, but Harden answered with a three to give the Rockets the lead. They never trailed again.

Harden had missed 10 straight shots before that three, but he made another one after, and the Rockets took a six point lead into the fourth quarter when Austin Rivers banked a three at the buzzer. Houston increased their lead with Harden on the bench to start the fourth quarter. The bench tacked five points onto the Rockets cushion before Harden re-entered, scoring 16 points in the quarter. The lead never fell below double-digits.

Clint Capela was overshadowed by Harden's big night, but he finished with 24 points and 18 rebounds. 

Eric Gordon chipped in 20, while Gerald Green and Rivers scored 10 points off the bench.

Kyrie Irving's 23 point, 11 assist night led the Celtics, but they fall to 20-14.

The Rockets will hit the road for a game when they take on the New Orleans Pelicans Saturday night at Smoothie King Center.