Harden, Rockets soar past Cavs
Published January 06, 2013
Cleveland, OH – James Harden had 16 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and the Houston Rockets downed the Cleveland Cavaliers, 112-104, on Saturday.
"James (Harden) sure made a couple of big shots down the stretch, no doubt about that," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said. "He made some great plays and, as a team, we found a way to make plays through him. He had a very good game for us."
Jeremy Lin added 20 points and five assists for Houston, which has won four in a row and nine of its last 11 games.
Kyrie Irving tallied 16 of his 30 points in the final frame and added six assists and four steals, but turned the ball over eight times for the Cavs, who have dropped four of their last five contests.
"I thought Kyrie (Irving) tried to press at times tonight. A couple of times, he might have tried to go too far, trying to get into the lane and getting it stripped," Cavs head coach Byron Scott said.
The Rockets led by as many as nine in the fourth, but Irving nailed a 3- pointer and split a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions to pull the Cavs within 106-103 with 1:09 to play.
Houston, though, netted six of the last seven points of the contest.
Following Irving's split from the charity stripe, Harden took the clock down and smoothly swished his step-back, right-wing jumper to make it 108-103 in favor of the visitors with 45.7 ticks left.
After Irving turned the ball over at the other end, Harden sunk all four of his foul shots to seal the outcome.
Cleveland took a 26-20 lead after a quarter of play, but Houston outscored the hosts 34-24 in the second and went into the locker room with a 54-50 edge.
The game was knotted at 78-78 heading into the fourth.
Tristan Thompson registered 14 points and 16 rebounds for Cleveland ... Houston gave the ball away 17 times, which led to 21 Cav points ... The Rockets shot 46.8 percent (37-of-79) from the floor.