NBA: Harden scores 39 as Rockets beat depleted Pelicans, Clippers win in Leonard’s reunion with Raptors


(REUTERS) – James Harden scored 39 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 as the visiting Houston Rockets won their fourth consecutive NBA game, beating the injury-hit New Orleans Pelicans 122-116 on Monday (Nov 11) night.

Harden scored 13 straight points as the Rockets took command midway through the fourth quarter. Eric Gordon came off the bench to add 17 points, Clint Capela had 11 points and 20 rebounds, and P.J. Tucker scored 10 to support the Rockets' two stars.

J.J. Redick scored 24 to lead New Orleans, who played without three injured starters. Josh Hart scored 19 points, Jrue Holiday added 18 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, Jahlil Okafor and E'Twaun Moore came off the bench to score 14 each, and Derrick Favors had 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Forward Brandon Ingram, the Pelicans' leading scorer, was a last-minute scratch because of knee soreness. Hart took his place in the starting line-up.

New Orleans were already playing without starting point guard Lonzo Ball (groin) and forward Zion Williamson, who has yet to make his National Basketball Association debut because of arthroscopic knee surgery.

In a later game, Lou Williams scored 21 points off the bench to help the Los Angeles Clippers post a 98-88 victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors.

Kawhi Leonard, who led the Raptors to their first NBA title last June, scored just 12 points on 2-of-11 shooting in his first game against his former club since leaving as a free agent.

He also had 11 rebounds, nine assists and three steals but committed nine turnovers. Montrezl Harrell contributed 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Clippers.

Patrick Patterson scored 12 points, and JaMychal Green had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Pascal Siakam recorded 16 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for the Raptors.

Norman Powell scored 15 points, Fred VanVleet had 14 points and eight assists, and Chris Boucher added 13 points.

Against the Pelicans, the Rockets led 58-52 at half-time and extended their lead to 11 points on three occasions early in the third quarter. Moore entered the game and scored seven quick points and the Pelicans climbed within one point.

Houston rebuilt the lead to 11, but Redick's three-pointer helped New Orleans get within 90-82 after three quarters.

The Rockets increased their lead to 95-82, but Redick made two three-pointers, one of which turned into a four-point play, helping the Pelicans get within 97-93 with 7:33 to go.

Harden scored the next 13 points of the game, including a four-point play of his own, and Houston took a 17-point lead.

The Pelicans turned the ball over eight times in the first quarter, leading to nine Rockets points as Houston took a 30-23 lead at the end of the period.

Harden scored nine points in the second quarter and Okafor came off the New Orleans bench to match him as the Rockets took a 58-52 half-time lead.

Meanwhile, Mike Conley and Donovan Mitchell combined for six three-pointers in a five-minute flurry late in the second quarter, helping Utah build a commanding lead en route to a 122-1Read More – Source

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