HOU
POR

No Text

Trail Blazers beat Rockets as Harden's 40-point streak ends

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Portland's Evan Turner knew what he was up against with James Harden.

Harden had scored 40-plus points in his previous five games and was coming off consecutive triple-doubles.

Turner, charged with Harden from the start, stopped that streak and managed to slow him - a bit. Harden finished with 38 points and the Trail Blazers snapped Houston's six-game winning streak with a 110-101 victory on Saturday night.

''I just had to be aggressive and try to limit what he likes to do. He's an amazing offensive player, he's been on a hell of a run and obviously he's the head of the snake, so I just tried to pick him up, wear him down, tire him out and not try to get any cheap fouls,'' Turner said.

Harden was 13 of 35 from the field, and shot 5 of 17 from 3-point range, overcoming a slow first half that ended with just nine points.

Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said Harden is clearly on another level.

''It's unbelievable. Now you grade him on that he wasn't very sharp tonight, he only had 38. Now if he doesn't get 40 it's like, `What's wrong with him?''' D'Antoni said.

Portland coach Terry Stotts weighed in: ''Well, we held him under 40 so I guess that's a win.''

Jusuf Nurkic had 25 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Blazers. CJ McCollum added 24 points and Damian Lillard finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds for Portland's third win in the past four games.

Portland led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter, but Harden started to show some life after a surprisingly cold first half.

Gerald Green's dunk got Houston within 88-83 early in the fourth but Nurkic's layup pushed Portland's lead to 97-85 with just under 6 minutes left.

After Harden collected his fourth foul, McCollum hit a long jumper to put Portland up 101-90 with 3:10 remaining. Turner's layup and free throw made it 106-95 and Moda Center fans started heading for the doors.

There was some controversy when Harden got three free throws on Turner's foul that appeared to be on P.J. Tucker, and he made all three to close the gap with 1:02 left. After Lillard made a free throw on the other end, Harden's step-back jumper got the Rockets within 107-101 with 34 seconds left - but it was a close as they could get.

Harden missed a layup with 15 seconds left that would have put him at 40 points.

''My shots were flat at the beginning of the game but I picked it up in that third quarter and the second half. I've just got to get off to a better start,'' he said.

Portland was the last team to hold Harden under 30. He had 29 in Houston's 111-104 home victory on Dec. 11. Maurice Harkless had some success guarding Harden, but he out with a sore left knee after a loss to the Thunder on Friday and Turner made his second start of the season.

Harden had his 11th career triple-double and made the go-ahead 3-pointer in a 135-134 overtime victory over Golden State on Thursday night. He finished with 44 points, 10 rebounds and 15 assists.

Neither team was able to make much of a move until the final two minutes of the half, when Portland went up 54-46 on Turner's layup. Nene was charged with a flagrant foul on Nurkic, who made one of the two free throws then added a basket. Lillard had a floater before time ran out and the Blazers went to the break with a 59-46 lead.

Harden was 0 for 8 from 3-point range in the opening half. It was just the second time this season he failed to reach double digits in the first half.

Lillard's 3-pointer pushed Portland's lead to 77-61, but Harden answered with his own. Harden had 20 points in the third quarter but the Blazers led 86-77 going into the final period.

Austin Rivers scored a season-high 21 points for Houston, while Clint Capela had 13 points and 21 rebounds.

TIP-INS

Rockets: It was the third and final meeting of the season between the teams. They split the first two. ... Harden hit his first two 3-point attempts in the second half. ... The five-game streak with 40-plus points was the longest of his career. It was tied for the NBA's third-longest streak dating back to the 1972-73 season.

Trail Blazers: Nurkic has 20 double-doubles. ... It was the first time Portland has defeated the Rockets twice in a season since 2015-16. ... Portland snapped a two-game losing streak to the Rockets at home.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host the Denver Nuggets on Monday.

Trail Blazers: Host the New York Knicks on Monday.

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
J. Harden
13 SG
D. Lillard
0 PG
35.5 Min. Per Game 35.5
26.6 Pts. Per Game 26.6
5.8 Ast. Per Game 5.8
4.6 Reb. Per Game 4.6
43.7 Field Goal % 44.8
43.7 Three Point % 45.0
85.3 Free Throw % 89.3
  Defensive rebound by Jusuf Nurkic 0:03
  James Harden missed driving layup 0:04
  Defensive rebound by James Harden 0:15
  CJ McCollum missed 2nd of 2 free throws 0:16
+ 1 CJ McCollum made 1st of 2 free throws 0:16
  Personal foul on Austin Rivers 0:16
  POR team rebound 0:18
  Gerald Green missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:19
+ 1 Jusuf Nurkic made 1st of 2 free throws 0:22
  Personal foul on Gerald Green 0:22
+ 3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 0:34
Team Stats
Points 101 110
Field Goals 39-84 (46.4%) 43-94 (45.7%)
3-Pointers 13-38 (34.2%) 9-28 (32.1%)
Free Throws 10-12 (83.3%) 15-20 (75.0%)
Total Rebounds 44 59
Offensive 10 17
Defensive 30 30
Team 4 12
Assists 13 27
Steals 6 7
Blocks 5 2
Turnovers 12 9
Fouls 23 11
Technicals 1 1
38 PTS, 5 REB, 7 AST
25 PTS, 15 REB, 3 AST
1234T
away team logo Rockets 22-16 30163124101
home team logo Trail Blazers 23-17 30292724110
Team Stats
away team logo Rockets 22-16 112.9 PPG 41.6 RPG 21.0 APG
home team logo Trail Blazers 23-17 114.0 PPG 47.9 RPG 22.8 APG
Key Players
J. Harden SG 35.9 PPG 6.4 RPG 7.6 APG 43.5 FG%
J. Nurkic C 15.4 PPG 10.4 RPG 3.3 APG 50.5 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Harden SG 38 PTS 5 REB 7 AST
J. Nurkic C 25 PTS 15 REB 3 AST
46.4 FG% 45.7
34.2 3PT FG% 32.1
83.3 FT% 75.0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 38 5 7 13/35 5/17 7/7 4 36 1 1 7 0 5 -14 52
A. Rivers 21 1 1 8/15 5/10 0/0 5 42 0 0 1 0 1 -12 23
C. Capela 13 21 2 5/8 0/0 3/4 1 34 0 2 1 8 13 -2 39
D. House Jr. 7 4 0 3/6 1/3 0/0 0 26 2 1 0 0 4 -9 14
P. Tucker 0 4 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 5 33 2 0 0 1 3 -15 10
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 38 5 7 13/35 5/17 7/7 4 36 1 1 7 0 5 -14 52
A. Rivers 21 1 1 8/15 5/10 0/0 5 42 0 0 1 0 1 -12 23
C. Capela 13 21 2 5/8 0/0 3/4 1 34 0 2 1 8 13 -2 39
D. House Jr. 7 4 0 3/6 1/3 0/0 0 26 2 1 0 0 4 -9 14
P. Tucker 0 4 2 0/1 0/0 0/0 5 33 2 0 0 1 3 -15 10
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
G. Green 13 2 0 6/10 1/5 0/0 3 28 0 1 3 1 1 +2 13
B. Knight 7 0 0 3/7 1/2 0/1 0 13 0 0 0 0 0 +4 7
J. Ennis III 2 0 0 1/2 0/1 0/0 1 11 0 0 0 0 0 +7 2
Nene 0 3 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 3 13 1 0 0 0 3 -6 6
E. Gordon - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Carter-Williams - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
V. Edwards - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Chriss - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Hartenstein - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Anthony - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Paul - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 101 40 13 39/84 13/38 10/12 23 236 6 5 12 10 30 -45 166
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Nurkic 25 15 3 11/18 0/0 3/6 1 31 0 0 0 6 9 +17 46
C. McCollum 24 4 4 9/21 3/8 3/4 0 40 1 0 0 0 4 +4 37
D. Lillard 17 5 12 5/15 2/5 5/6 1 36 2 0 4 1 4 +13 44
E. Turner 14 3 4 6/11 0/3 2/2 3 30 1 1 0 2 1 +13 27
A. Aminu 7 8 2 3/6 1/2 0/0 2 29 1 0 2 4 4 +18 18
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Nurkic 25 15 3 11/18 0/0 3/6 1 31 0 0 0 6 9 +17 46
C. McCollum 24 4 4 9/21 3/8 3/4 0 40 1 0 0 0 4 +4 37
D. Lillard 17 5 12 5/15 2/5 5/6 1 36 2 0 4 1 4 +13 44
E. Turner 14 3 4 6/11 0/3 2/2 3 30 1 1 0 2 1 +13 27
A. Aminu 7 8 2 3/6 1/2 0/0 2 29 1 0 2 4 4 +18 18
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Layman 9 2 0 3/7 1/4 2/2 1 21 1 0 0 0 2 -3 12
Z. Collins 7 3 0 3/6 1/1 0/0 1 13 0 0 0 2 1 -11 10
S. Curry 5 1 0 2/6 1/4 0/0 0 22 1 1 2 1 0 0 6
M. Leonard 2 6 2 1/4 0/1 0/0 2 14 0 0 1 1 5 -6 11
M. Harkless - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Stauskas - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swanigan - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
W. Baldwin IV - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Trent Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Simons - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 110 47 27 43/94 9/28 15/20 11 236 7 2 9 17 30 +45 211