James Harden scored 43 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in three quarters to lead the Houston Rockets to a 141-113 rout over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
After the Cavaliers won the first meeting with Houston this season, the Rockets were determined to take care of business this time round and they did that.
They raced into a 28-point lead after scoring a season-high 77 points in the first half due partly to 24 points from Harden. The Rockets led 113-81 after three quarters. Harden had his 15th straight game with at least 30 points, his franchise-record 13th game with 40 points this season and the seventh in the last nine games.
Harden needed less than two-and-a-half quarters to reach 30 points, hitting a three with 7:41 left in the third quarter to give him 32 points and push Houston’s lead to 91-58. He joins Kobe Bryant (16 games in 2003) as the only players to score 30 points in at least 15 games in a row since the 1972-73 season.
About three minutes later, he pushed his total to 40 after he was left wide open to drive into the lane for an easy lay-up to make it 99-68.
Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with about 90 seconds left in the third quarter to give him his sixth triple-double this season and the 41st of his career. He made eight 3-pointers to extend his NBA-record to 12 games in a row with at least five. Ante Zizic led Cleveland with 18 points but they have now lost 12 straight matches.