Harden (35 points) keeps streak alive as Rockets stop Raptors

Harden (35 points) keeps streak alive as Rockets stop Raptors

The Houston Rockets (28-20) past the Toronto Raptors (36-15) at home 121:119 (33:20, 37:41, 26:28, 25:30) and extended their winning streak to two games, meanwhile, the Raptors lost for the second time in a row. This marked his 22nd consecutive game with at least 30 points.

Harden is playing passing lanes well, coming up with 2-plus steals a game, while heading the offensive attack in his usual masterful way. "I was just trying to contest it as good as possible", Harden said about the final sequence.

That streak looked to be in jeopardy early on, though, after a rough first half where he scored just 13 points and shot only 3-of-11 from the field.

With Paul now on the shelf, James Harden has gone atomic with his offensive production. "Kenneth brought the energy that we've been waiting on".

P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon, and Kenneth Faried were instrumental in the Rockets cruising out to a 22-point lead in the first half.

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Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse's game plan to target the reigning NBA Most Valuable Player at the Toyota Centre worked in stopping the star guard from recording another 50-point game. He shot just 9-of-25 from the field, 2-of-13 from behind the three-point line, but was ideal on his 15 free throw attempts as the Rockets improve to 28-20 on the season.

Chris Paul, who has missed 38 days with a Grade-2 hamstring sprain, is set to return on Sunday for their game against the Orlando Magic. The Raptors have won eight of its last 10 games, but its +5.6 point differential lingers far behind Milwaukee's +10.

Toronto got within 10 after scoring four quick points later in the fourth, but a layup by Harden made it 117-105 with about 90 seconds left.

The Raptors got back on track after that, scoring the next 10 points, with two 3-pointers from Green, to cut the lead to 92-84 with about a minute left in the third.

Raptors Injuries: Jonas Valanciunas: out (thumb), OG Anunoby: day to day (personal). Capela averages 17.6 points, 12.9 rebounds and 1.88 blocks per game while posting the second-best PER on the Rockets. Faried had 11 points and eight rebounds against NY and Eric Gordon seems to have found his shot with a 20-point night on Wednesday.

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