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Rockets Hammer Sixers For 7th Straight Win

Harden scores 31 as Rockets earn 40th win

March 08, 2019 - 11:30 pm

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- James Harden scored 31 points as the Rockets won their seventh straight game, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 107-91 Friday night at Toyota Center.

Harden added 10 rebounds and seven assists, while shooting 11-of-22 as the Rockets improved to 40-25 on the season, increasing their lead over the Portland Trail Blazers to a game in the race for homecourt advantage in the first round of the playoffs. 

Harden's 16-point quarter staked the Rockets to a 37-21 lead after the game's first 12 minutes, and the Rockets built the lead up to 22, but Jimmy Butler's layup with 22.3 seconds left before halftime capped a 9-0 run, which ended when Harden drove in for a layup of his own with 1.2 second left to make it a 59-44 game at the break. Harden led all scorers with 20, and while the Sixers shot just 36 percent, they grabbed 13 offensive rebounds, leading to nine second chance points. 

Philadelphia cut the Rockets lead to 12 three times early in the third quarter, but Eric Gordon and Harden answered the third time with three-pointers to build the lead back to 18. T.J. McConnell stopped the bleeding briefly by connecting on a 16-foot jump shot only to see Gordon follow Austin Rivers' layup with another triple. The Rockets led by as many as 23, and took an 87-65 advantage into the fourth quarter. The Sixers never got closer than 16 the rest of the night. 

Gordon scored 17 for the Rockets, hitting on 5-of-9 three-pointers, while Clint Capela chipped in 18 points, nine rebounds, and four steals. 

Without All Star center Joel Embiid, who missed his eighth straight game due to left knee soreness, the Sixer dropped to 41-25. 

Tobias Harris led Philadelphia with 22 points, but his team shot just 37 percent from the field, 3-of-26 from behind the 3-point line.

The Rockets will go for eight straight wins they they take on the Dallas Mavericks Sunday at American Airlines Center.