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Harden leads Rockets past Nets for 7th straight win

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Rockets overcame their inability to make defensive stops by running over the Brooklyn Nets on the offensive end.

James Harden had 36 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds to lead the Rockets to their seventh straight win, 122-118 over the Nets on Monday night.

''There's 82 games - every game isn't going to be perfect,'' Harden said. ''You've got to figure out ways to win, and that's what we did tonight.''

Eric Gordon scored 24 points on 6-for-10 shooting on 3-pointers, and Ryan Anderson added 19.for the Rockets. Houston shot 17 for 43 on 3s, making at least 10 for an NBA-record 24th straight game.

Brook Lopez scored 26 points and Sean Kilpatrick added 17 for the Nets.

''They made some plays and we didn't,'' Brooklyn coach Kenny Atkinson said. ''It could've gone either way.''

Jeremy Lin returned to action for Brooklyn for the first time since Nov. 2 when he suffered a strained left hamstring. Although Lin did not start, he played 20 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points.

Atkinson said Lin's presence on the court helped Brooklyn's offense by keeping the team organized and said he was glad Lin didn't try to do too much following a five-week absence.

''I felt a lot better than I thought I would with my wind, but I struggled with the rhythm,'' Lin said. ''The shots, the feel and getting back out there - you practice all these shots, but I got in there and it felt like I was shooting a football.''

Brooklyn trailed for much of the game until Joe Harris tied it at 118 with a layup with less than 40 seconds remaining.

Gordon gave Houston a two-point lead with a free throw with 11.9 seconds left, and the Rockets came up with a key steal on the ensuing inbound pass. Gordon then made two more from the line and the Rockets held on for the win.

''We were just lackadaisical,'' Gordon said. ''Luckily, we made some plays in the end that helped us win. We definitely need a wake-up call, but we know what we need to do. It's good that we get a win, but there's all the little things that we need to do to be a better team.''

The Rockets improved to 7-0 in December while knocking Brooklyn down to 1-5 in the month. The Nets haven't won on the road since Nov. 12.

Houston outscored Brooklyn by five in each of the first two quarters to take a 53-43 lead at the half. Brooklyn cut the lead to five to start the fourth quarter.

''I think we can look at ourselves in the mirror and say individually we could have done a better job, and as a team, we could have done a better job, too,'' Anderson said.

TIP-INS

Nets: C Justin Hamilton missed his second straight game with migraines. Atkinson said he will be reevaluated in a few days. ... The Nets scored 42 points in the third quarter, the team's most points in a quarter this season.

Rockets: Houston allowed 68 points in the paint, a season high for their opponents. ... Harden passed Eric ''Sleepy'' Floyd (2,363 assists) for seventh on the franchise's all-time assists list. ... Trevor Ariza had three steals and two blocks for Houston.

COVERING LOPEZ

The Rockets struggled to contain Brook Lopez for the entire game. Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni switched gears and let veteran center Nene play 24 minutes off the bench and starting center Clint Capela less than 19 minutes.

When asked if Nene was a better matchup for Lopez than Capela, D'Antoni didn't hesitate.

''Much better, much better,'' D'Antoni said. ''Nene's more experienced, more bulk. Clint will learn through this stuff, and Brook is a very good offensive player, really good offensive player. They all had their hands full with him.''

WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME

Until he came up with his only rebound of the game with less than 16.9 seconds remaining, Lopez was nearly held without a rebound for the first time since March 26, 2011, when he went without a rebound in 31 minutes against Atlanta.

''I need to be more aggressive getting to the glass,'' Lopez said. ''I'm not trying to make any excuses - I need to do better in that category.''

HONORING SCOLA

Nets forward Luis Scola, who played with Houston from 2007-12, was honored by the Rockets after the first quarter as part of the team's celebration of its 50th season. A video tribute featuring interviews from Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Shane Battier was played and Scola was given an ovation when shown on the videoboard.

UP NEXT

Nets: Host the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Rockets: Host Sacramento on Wednesday night.

Copyright 2016 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
B. Lopez
11 C
J. Harden
13 SG
37.0 Min. Per Game 37.0
27.8 Pts. Per Game 27.8
11.7 Ast. Per Game 11.7
7.8 Reb. Per Game 7.8
45.7 Field Goal % 43.8
36.8 Three Point % 34.8
83.6 Free Throw % 83.5
  Lost ball turnover on Brook Lopez 0:04
+ 1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:06
+ 1 Eric Gordon made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:06
+ 1 Eric Gordon made 1st of 2 free throws 0:06
  Shooting foul on Brook Lopez 0:06
  Bad pass turnover on Sean Kilpatrick 0:06
  Bad pass turnover on Sean Kilpatrick 0:06
  Full timeout called 0:08
  Full timeout called 0:12
  Defensive rebound by Joe Harris 0:18
  Eric Gordon missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:18
Team Stats
Points 118 122
Field Goals 42-80 (52.5%) 42-91 (46.2%)
3-Pointers 7-20 (35.0%) 17-43 (39.5%)
Free Throws 27-36 (75.0%) 21-36 (58.3%)
Total Rebounds 52 59
Offensive 6 11
Defensive 35 28
Team 11 20
Assists 21 23
Steals 9 10
Blocks 4 5
Turnovers 20 14
Fouls 27 25
Technicals 0 0
26 PTS, 1 REB, 2 AST
36 PTS, 8 REB, 11 AST
1234T
away team logo Nets 6-17 24194233118
home team logo Rockets 18-7 29243732122
Team Stats
away team logo Nets 6-17 111.4 PPG 40.4 RPG 19.2 APG
home team logo Rockets 18-7 108.5 PPG 42.9 RPG 18.3 APG
Key Players
B. Lopez C PPG RPG APG FG%
J. Harden SG 36.1 PPG 6.6 RPG 7.5 APG 44.2 FG%
Top Scorers
B. Lopez C 26 PTS 1 REB 2 AST
J. Harden SG 36 PTS 8 REB 11 AST
52.5 FG% 46.2
35.0 3PT FG% 39.5
75.0 FT% 58.3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Lopez 26 1 2 9/17 0/2 8/8 1 32 1 2 4 1 0 0 30
S. Kilpatrick 17 3 2 6/8 2/2 3/4 5 32 0 0 7 0 3 0 17
I. Whitehead 13 2 5 6/8 0/1 1/2 3 24 0 0 3 0 2 0 22
T. Booker 10 13 1 4/8 0/0 2/3 3 32 4 0 3 0 13 0 26
B. Bogdanovic 7 1 1 3/8 1/3 0/1 3 22 1 0 0 0 1 0 11
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
B. Lopez 26 1 2 9/17 0/2 8/8 1 32 1 2 4 1 0 0 30
S. Kilpatrick 17 3 2 6/8 2/2 3/4 5 32 0 0 7 0 3 0 17
I. Whitehead 13 2 5 6/8 0/1 1/2 3 24 0 0 3 0 2 0 22
T. Booker 10 13 1 4/8 0/0 2/3 3 32 4 0 3 0 13 0 26
B. Bogdanovic 7 1 1 3/8 1/3 0/1 3 22 1 0 0 0 1 0 11
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
R. Hollis-Jefferson 11 5 0 3/4 0/0 5/6 1 15 2 0 0 2 3 0 18
J. Lin 10 3 7 4/8 1/3 1/4 3 20 1 1 1 0 3 0 28
J. Harris 9 7 1 2/7 1/4 4/4 5 22 0 0 0 0 7 0 18
C. LeVert 7 2 0 2/5 2/4 1/2 1 15 0 0 0 1 1 0 9
A. Bennett 6 4 0 2/3 0/1 2/2 1 18 0 0 0 2 2 0 10
L. Scola 2 0 0 1/3 0/0 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
S. Dinwiddie 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 1 3 0 1 1 0 0 0 4
R. Foye - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Hamilton - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. McCullough - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Vaulet - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Y. Ferrell - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 118 41 21 42/80 7/20 27/36 27 240 9 4 20 6 35 0 195
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 36 8 11 12/27 4/11 8/12 3 39 2 0 4 3 5 0 64
R. Anderson 19 6 2 6/11 3/7 4/5 3 31 0 0 0 2 4 0 29
P. Beverley 11 5 5 4/11 3/7 0/0 2 32 1 1 1 3 2 0 27
C. N'Dumba-Capela 8 6 2 4/4 0/0 0/4 4 19 0 0 0 0 6 0 18
T. Ariza 7 4 2 3/8 0/4 1/3 3 37 3 2 1 0 4 0 19
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 36 8 11 12/27 4/11 8/12 3 39 2 0 4 3 5 0 64
R. Anderson 19 6 2 6/11 3/7 4/5 3 31 0 0 0 2 4 0 29
P. Beverley 11 5 5 4/11 3/7 0/0 2 32 1 1 1 3 2 0 27
C. N'Dumba-Capela 8 6 2 4/4 0/0 0/4 4 19 0 0 0 0 6 0 18
T. Ariza 7 4 2 3/8 0/4 1/3 3 37 3 2 1 0 4 0 19
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
E. Gordon 24 0 1 7/15 6/10 4/6 3 29 1 0 6 0 0 0 21
Nene 12 6 0 4/8 0/0 4/6 4 25 2 0 2 3 3 0 18
S. Dekker 5 3 0 2/5 1/3 0/0 0 15 0 1 0 0 3 0 9
C. Brewer 0 0 0 0/2 0/1 0/0 3 10 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
M. Harrell 0 1 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 2
T. Ennis - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McDaniels - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Onuaku - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Wiltjer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 122 39 23 42/91 17/43 21/36 25 241 10 5 14 11 28 0 208