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Philadelphia at Houston

Harden scores 33, helps Rockets pull away from Sixers

CBSSports.com wire reports

HOUSTON -- Philadelphia 76ers coach Doug Collins knew what was coming before James Harden even stepped on the court.

"To me, when he's coming down the floor, he's very similar to LeBron James," Collins said before Wednesday night's game in Houston. "He combines size, strength and shooting, and he loves to make contact."

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Harden played up to Collins' description, finishing with 33 points and seven assists to lead the Rockets to a 125-103 victory against Philadelphia.

Collins mentored Harden when he played at Arizona State and said he frequently told the young player that he had "no motor."

"[Collins] taught me a lot," Harden said. "I was too nonchalant and just chill. That's how I still am, but I have a little motor in me now. That's the difference."

Harden topped 20 points for the seventh consecutive game to send the 76ers to their fifth loss in a row. He made a career-high 17 of 18 free throws, including six in the fourth quarter, as Houston improved to 9-2 in its past 11 home games.

"James is kind of the head of the spear," Rockets coach Kevin McHale said. "He's the guy that takes us out and gets us going."

Toney Douglas heated up in the fourth quarter for the Rockets, hitting five 3-pointers and scoring all 17 of his points.

Reserve Nick Young scored 21 points to lead Philadelphia, which matched its most lopsided loss of the season. The 76ers also lost by 22 points against the New York Knicks on Nov. 5.

"We just couldn't get any stops, and Harden controlled the game," Collins said. "We are just so undermanned."

Young hit a 3-pointer with less than three minutes left in the third quarter to cut Houston's lead to three, but the Rockets finished the quarter on an 8-1 run and led by 10 at the start of the fourth. Houston forward Greg Smith keyed the rally, scoring eight of his 13 points in the final two minutes of the third quarter.

"James [Harden] came up to me during a timeout and told me we needed to finish the quarter with energy," Smith said.

Chandler Parsons got the rebound on his own 3-point attempt and followed with a powerful dunk that kept Houston's lead in double digits midway through the fourth quarter. Parsons finished with nine points and was the only Rockets starter not in double-figures.

Jeremy Lin had 18 points and six assists, and Omer Asik added 17 points and 15 rebounds for Houston, which led by as many as 14 in the first half and was ahead 56-51 at the break.

Dorell Wright scored 20 points in a reserve role for Philadelphia, and Thaddeus Young added 17 -- his 16th consecutive game in double-figures.

Philadelphia guard Evan Turner left the game with nine minutes left in the third quarter after suffering a left ankle injury. Turner limped to the locker room and returned with less than five minutes remaining, but he only stayed in the game for 17 seconds before heading back to the locker room.

Collins said the extent of Turner's injury was not immediately clear after the game.

Turner never re-entered the game and finished with six points, three assists and two rebounds, ending a 17-game streak of scoring in double-figures. The 2010 second overall pick has averaged 17.7 points in December and 15.5 this season.

Turner's absence might be the latest setback for the injury-plagued 76ers, who have been without center Andrew Bynum for the entire season.

Philadelphia point guard Jrue Holiday, the team's leading scorer at nearly 19 points per game, missed his fourth straight with a sprained left foot. Collins said he hoped Holiday would be back for Friday's home game against Atlanta but said the team isn't rushing his return.

"When you put a loss behind your name as a coach, they don't ask who played in the game," Collins said. "There is no asterisk that says you're undermanned."


  • Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel attended the game and received a brief ovation when his name was announced halfway through the third quarter. Texas A&M University in College Station is roughly 100 miles from Houston's Toyota Center.
  • Houston F Patrick Patterson missed his third consecutive game with a bone bruise in his right foot.
Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young and Houston's James Harden compete for a loose ball during the second quarter.  (US Presswire)
Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young and Houston's James Harden compete for a loose ball during the second quarter. (US Presswire)
Philadelphia (12-14)24272824103
Houston (13-12) «33233336125
PHI:N. Young 21 Pts
PHI:L. Allen 7 Reb
PHI:D. Wright 6 Ast
HOU:J. Harden 33 Pts
HOU:O. Asik 15 Reb
HOU:J. Harden 7 Ast
Players of the Game

Nick Young

James Harden

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Expectations for the Sixers in 16-17
T. Young, SF357-123-465117
J. Richardson, SG315-100-031311
E. Turner, SF213-70-02316
M. Wayns, PG141-50-01002
K. Brown, C41-10-01012
D. Wright, SG407-153-466220
N. Young, SG358-183-544221
L. Allen, PF254-82-472510
S. Hawes, C244-116-760514
D. Wilkins, SG90-20-02010
A. Moultrie, PF40-00-01000
R. Ivey, PGDid Not Play
A. Bynum, CDid Not Play
J. Holiday, PGDid Not Play
Totals 40-8917-24392121103
J. Harden, SG377-1217-1827333
C. Parsons, SF354-130-05429
O. Asik, C325-77-9150217
J. Lin, PG328-121-226318
M. Morris, PF315-82-355114
T. Douglas, PG256-110-034317
C. Delfino, SG170-30-02110
G. Smith, PF135-53-440313
D. Motiejunas, PF82-40-00124
D. Cook, SG30-00-01000
C. Aldrich, C30-00-02000
T. Jones, PF30-00-00100
P. Patterson, PFDid Not Play
R. White, PFDid Not Play
S. Machado, PGDid Not Play
Totals 42-7530-36412920125
Other Games
Utah 84 Final
Ind 104
Brook 86 Final
NY 100
Wash 83 Final
Orl 90
Det 91 Final
Tor 97
OKC 100 Final
Atl 92
Cle 91 Final
Bos 103
Char 104 Final
Pho 121
Mil 80 Final
Mem 90
GS 127 Final
Sac 131
NO 77 Final
LAC 93