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Harden scores 42, Rockets rout Bulls 117-94

CHICAGO (AP) For James Harden, a missed shot simply means the odds of him making the next one improve.

That attitude served the All-Star guard well Saturday night as he rebounded from a slow start to put up big numbers again.

Harden narrowly missed his first triple-double of the season, finishing with 42 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Houston Rockets pulled away in the second half and beat the Chicago Bulls 117-94.

After going 2 for 7 (including 1 for 5 on 3-pointers) in the first quarter, he went 10 for 20 the rest of the game, including 8 for 14 on 3's.

''That's the confidence I have,'' he said. ''That's the confidence that I've built off of the work I put in. It's more of a mindset.''

Harden, the NBA's leading scorer, entered the game averaging 36.5 points on 38.7% shooting, including 27% on 3-pointers.

''I feel like a broken record sometimes, but he's a master of getting what he wants,'' Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said of Harden. ''I think sometimes he might get bored in the game and tries different stuff.''

Russell Westbrook scored 26 points as the Rockets won their third straight.

Wendell Carter Jr. had 13 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago, which has dropped six of eight.

The Bulls were a woeful 4-for-32 shooting from 3-point range.

''I know how well we can shoot and tonight we just didn't make them,'' Chicago forward Lauri Markkanen said.

Chicago led 27-20 after one quarter behind eight points from Markkanen and eight Houston turnovers.

The Bulls led by nine points (31-22) early in the second before the Rockets used a 24-7 run to take control and open a 46-38 lead with four minutes left in the first half. Harden had nine points during the run.

Chicago closed within 50-49 at halftime on a 3-pointer by Zach LaVine. That was the Bulls second make in 17 first-half attempts from long range. Houston quickly reclaimed control with a 30-9 run in the opening 9:41 of the third, taking an 80-58 advantage.

The Rockets had an 86-67 lead entering the fourth, helped by 7-for-14 shooting from 3-pointers range in the third. Harden led the way with 11 points in the quarter.

The Bulls couldn't get closer than 14 points in the fourth quarter.

''I think we did really good in the first half; they just broke it open in the third quarter,'' LaVine said. ''We played a good first half and a bad second half.''

Harden, who has 35 regular-season triple-doubles in his career, had several minutes of garbage time in the fourth quarter to get additional assists, but was unsuccessful before leaving with a little more than three minutes remaining.

''I didn't even know I was one assist away,'' he said. ''I'm happy we won, though.''

NUMBERS GAME

Houston went 19 for 44 (43.2%) on 3-pointers to clearly outclass the Bulls from behind the arc.

''They made 19 threes, we made four, so we lost the 3-point line by 45 points,'' Chicago coach Jim Boylen said. ''It's hard to win a game.''

DEFENSE

Westbrook believes the Rockets had a lot to do with the Bulls' poor shooting.

''If you're gonna win in this league, you've got to defend,'' he said. ''There are no nights off. You've got to defend every single night against some tough teams.''

TIP-INS

Rockets: G Eric Gordon (left hamstring) returned after sitting out Wednesday against Golden State. He had nine points and 21 minutes off the bench. ... Houston has won the last seven games against Chicago, including the last four at the United Center.

Bulls: F Otto Porter sat out with a left foot sprain. Porter was walking Saturday without the aid of crutches for the first time since suffering the injury Wednesday in Atlanta. There is still no timetable for his return.

UP NEXT

Rockets: At New Orleans on Monday night

Bulls: Host New York on Tuesday night.

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Key Players
J. Harden
13 SG
Z. LaVine
8 PG
32.2 Min. Per Game 32.2
20.4 Pts. Per Game 20.4
4.0 Ast. Per Game 4.0
4.8 Reb. Per Game 4.8
39.4 Field Goal % 42.6
39.5 Three Point % 42.8
89.8 Free Throw % 75.7
  24-second shot clock violation turnover 0:01
  Defensive rebound by Clint Capela 0:23
  Coby White missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:26
  Offensive rebound by Kris Dunn 0:27
  Thaddeus Young missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:30
  Turnover on Chris Clemons 0:47
  Offensive foul on Chris Clemons 0:47
+ 2 Coby White made layup 1:01
+ 2 Clint Capela made layup, assist by Chris Clemons 1:08
+ 1 Coby White made free throw 1:27
  Shooting foul on Austin Rivers 1:27
Team Stats
Points 117 94
Field Goals 39-83 (47.0%) 37-98 (37.8%)
3-Pointers 19-44 (43.2%) 4-32 (12.5%)
Free Throws 20-28 (71.4%) 16-18 (88.9%)
Total Rebounds 62 53
Offensive 9 11
Defensive 46 35
Team 7 7
Assists 18 21
Steals 12 14
Blocks 7 5
Turnovers 22 15
Fouls 21 22
Technicals 0 0
42 PTS, 10 REB, 9 AST
13 PTS, 16 REB, 2 AST
1234T
away team logo Rockets 6-3 20303631117
home team logo Bulls 3-7 2722182794
Team Stats
away team logo Rockets 6-3 119.5 PPG 47.4 RPG 21.1 APG
home team logo Bulls 3-7 107.2 PPG 44.4 RPG 22.6 APG
Key Players
J. Harden SG 39.2 PPG 5.7 RPG 7.6 APG 42.5 FG%
W. Carter Jr. C 13.1 PPG 9.6 RPG 0.8 APG 59.2 FG%
Top Scorers
J. Harden SG 42 PTS 10 REB 9 AST
W. Carter Jr. C 13 PTS 16 REB 2 AST
47.0 FG% 37.8
43.2 3PT FG% 12.5
71.4 FT% 88.9
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 42 10 9 12/27 9/19 9/11 1 35 2 0 6 1 9 +36 66
R. Westbrook 26 7 2 10/20 0/3 6/8 4 31 1 0 7 0 7 +1 31
C. Capela 16 20 1 7/10 0/0 2/2 3 41 0 4 0 5 15 +35 42
D. House Jr. 11 5 1 3/5 3/5 2/3 3 32 6 1 4 1 4 +15 21
P. Tucker 4 5 1 1/3 1/3 1/2 4 32 2 2 0 0 5 +2 15
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
J. Harden 42 10 9 12/27 9/19 9/11 1 35 2 0 6 1 9 +36 66
R. Westbrook 26 7 2 10/20 0/3 6/8 4 31 1 0 7 0 7 +1 31
C. Capela 16 20 1 7/10 0/0 2/2 3 41 0 4 0 5 15 +35 42
D. House Jr. 11 5 1 3/5 3/5 2/3 3 32 6 1 4 1 4 +15 21
P. Tucker 4 5 1 1/3 1/3 1/2 4 32 2 2 0 0 5 +2 15
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
E. Gordon 9 2 0 3/9 3/7 0/0 3 21 0 0 4 0 2 +8 7
A. Rivers 6 4 2 2/4 2/3 0/2 1 26 0 0 0 1 3 +13 14
C. Clemons 3 0 1 1/2 1/2 0/0 1 3 0 0 1 0 0 -2 4
B. McLemore 0 2 1 0/3 0/2 0/0 1 15 1 0 0 1 1 +7 5
T. Sefolosha - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Anderson - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Clark - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Frazier - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Chandler - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Hartenstein - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Nene - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Green - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 117 55 18 39/83 19/44 20/28 21 236 12 7 22 9 46 +115 205
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Markkanen 13 6 1 3/10 0/5 7/7 1 33 2 0 2 0 6 -18 21
W. Carter Jr. 13 16 2 5/9 0/1 3/3 3 29 0 2 0 4 12 -5 35
C. Hutchison 13 4 0 6/10 1/2 0/0 4 23 2 2 1 0 4 -14 20
Z. LaVine 11 1 5 5/17 1/7 0/0 3 32 2 1 4 1 0 -20 21
T. Satoransky 10 3 4 4/11 0/2 2/3 3 23 3 0 3 1 2 -14 21
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
L. Markkanen 13 6 1 3/10 0/5 7/7 1 33 2 0 2 0 6 -18 21
W. Carter Jr. 13 16 2 5/9 0/1 3/3 3 29 0 2 0 4 12 -5 35
C. Hutchison 13 4 0 6/10 1/2 0/0 4 23 2 2 1 0 4 -14 20
Z. LaVine 11 1 5 5/17 1/7 0/0 3 32 2 1 4 1 0 -20 21
T. Satoransky 10 3 4 4/11 0/2 2/3 3 23 3 0 3 1 2 -14 21
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB +/- FPTS
T. Young 13 5 3 5/9 1/3 2/2 1 23 1 0 1 3 2 -11 24
C. White 10 3 1 4/16 0/6 2/3 2 27 1 0 2 0 3 -13 14
K. Dunn 7 3 4 3/9 1/3 0/0 1 21 2 0 0 1 2 -5 20
L. Kornet 2 1 0 1/3 0/2 0/0 0 5 0 0 0 0 1 -9 3
R. Arcidiacono 2 4 1 1/4 0/1 0/0 3 15 1 0 2 1 3 -3 7
D. Gafford 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 4 0 0 0 0 0 -3 0
D. Valentine - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
O. Porter Jr. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Felicio - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Harrison - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Strus - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Mokoka - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 94 46 21 37/98 4/32 16/18 22 235 14 5 15 11 35 -115 186