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Harden’s 44 points lead Rockets over Pacers 111-102

HOUSTON (AP) The Houston Rockets got another huge offensive game from James Harden.

But it was the team's defense against the Indiana Pacers that the Rockets thought was the most impressive part of their win.

Harden scored 44 points and the Rockets used a big fourth quarter run to pull away and get the 111-102 victory on Friday night.

Houston has won a season-high six games in a row and Harden has scored 36 points or more in five straight games to carry the Rockets as they deal with injuries to Clint Capela, Eric Gordon and Danuel House.

Indiana led by 4 on a 3-pointer by Doug McDermott before Houston used a 14-0 spurt to make it 94-88 with about five minutes left. Harden took over in that stretch, scoring the last 12 points and making two 3-pointers. The Pacers couldn't do anything offensively as Houston built its lead and missed seven shots and had two turnovers.

Harden was asked how big the team's defense in that stretch was to the win.

''It was huge,'' Harden said. ''That's the game right there.''

Indiana got its first point in almost five minutes when Domantas Sabonis made the second of two free throws with less than five minutes to go and Justin Holiday made a layup about a minute later.

But Russell Westbrook hit a 3-pointer seconds after that to push the Rockets' lead to 10 with three minutes remaining.

Though the defense has improved during this winning streak, Westbrook still sees room for improvement.

''We're moving in the right direction,'' he said. ''We're doing a good job of staying locked in for the most part ... and it's showing.''

The Pacers cut it to six points with a 3 by Aaron Holiday with about a minute left, but Tyson Chandler added a tip-in layup to secure the victory.

Sabonis had 18 points and 13 rebounds and McDermott added 18 points off the bench as Indiana had its four-game winning streak was snapped.

Ben McLemore had a season-high 21 points and Westbrook scored 17 with eight rebounds and six assists.

''He hit some timely 3s,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said of McLemore. ''His defense is always pretty good. He runs the floor. He plays really hard and he can shoot. So yeah - he was good.''

A dunk by Justin Holiday got the Pacers within four points midway through the third quarter before Houston used an 8-2 run to make it 75-65 with about four minutes left in the quarter. McLemore led the way in that stretch with two 3-pointers.

The Pacers got going after that, scoring the next 10 points to tie it with about a minute left in the third. Houston missed five shots and had a turnover to allow Indiana to close the gap.

Austin Rivers ended a scoring drought of more than three minutes by Houston after that, but Indiana scored the next four points to take a 79-77 lead.

Houston entered the fourth quarter up by 1 after P.J. Tucker hit a 3-pointer at the end of the third.

The Pacers, who were already without Myles Turner and Jeremy Lamb because of injuries, played most of Friday's game without Malcolm Brogdon after he left in the first quarter with a sore lower back.

''That's a big loss when you're going up against guys like Harden and Westbrook,'' coach Nate McMillan said. ''Not only do you need him offensively but you need his size defensively.''

TIP-INS

Pacers: Turner missed his eighth straight game with a sprained right ankle, but could return on Saturday night. ... Lamb sat out for the fifth game in a row with a sprained left ankle. ... T.J. Warren busted his lip and was bleeding after a collision in the third quarter. He was tended to by a trainer for a few minutes and re-entered the game late in the quarter.

Rockets: C Capela missed the game and won't play on Saturday after sustaining a concussion on Wednesday night. ... Rivers scored 10 points off the bench. ... Houston made 14 of 46 3-pointers.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON

Chandler made his first start of the season in place of Capela at center against Sabonis. It wasn't the first time he'd played against a member of the Sabonis family, after playing two games against Sabonis's father, Arvydas Sabonis, in his last NBA season in 2002-03. Chandler, who was in his second NBA season, was 20 that year and Arvydas Sabonis was 38.

''Both of them are great players,'' the 37-year-old Chandler said. ''His dad was huge and so skilled. I think I caught him at the end of his career after injuries and all that. But his son is really good and has a bright future ahead of him.''

UP NEXT

Pacers: Host Milwaukee on Saturday night.

Rockets: Visit Minnesota on Saturday night.

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1st Quarter

Time Team Play Score
12:00   Jumpball  
11:36   Lost ball turnover on Domantas Sabonis, stolen by James Harden  
11:32 +2 Ben McLemore made layup, assist by James Harden 0-2
11:21   Aaron Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:20   Defensive rebound by Ben McLemore  
11:12   Tyson Chandler missed layup  
11:11   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
10:57   Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
10:55   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
10:41   Russell Westbrook missed jump shot  
10:38   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
10:33   Personal foul on Tyson Chandler  
10:26   Out of bounds turnover on Malcolm Brogdon  
10:09   Offensive foul on Tyson Chandler  
10:09   Turnover on Tyson Chandler  
9:56   T.J. Warren missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by P.J. Tucker  
9:56   IND team rebound  
9:43   T.J. Warren missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:43   IND team rebound  
9:45   24-second shot clock violation turnover  
9:36   Russell Westbrook missed running Jump Shot  
9:34   Offensive rebound by Tyson Chandler  
9:32   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:29   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
9:22 +2 Malcolm Brogdon made finger-roll layup 2-2
9:05 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 2-5
8:50 +2 Domantas Sabonis made layup, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 4-5
8:27   Traveling violation turnover on Ben McLemore  
8:14   Domantas Sabonis missed hook shot  
8:13   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
7:54 +2 Ben McLemore made layup, assist by Russell Westbrook 4-7
7:54   Shooting foul on Domantas Sabonis  
7:54 +1 Ben McLemore made free throw 4-8
7:41 +2 JaKarr Sampson made dunk, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 6-8
7:24   Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:23   Offensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
7:20   Russell Westbrook missed layup, blocked by JaKarr Sampson  
7:20   Defensive rebound by T.J. Warren  
7:16   Bad pass turnover on T.J. Warren, stolen by James Harden  
7:13   Shooting foul on Aaron Holiday  
7:13 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 6-9
7:13 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 6-10
6:56   Domantas Sabonis missed driving layup, blocked by Isaiah Hartenstein  
6:54   Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
6:49   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:46   Defensive rebound by JaKarr Sampson  
6:45   Personal foul on Isaiah Hartenstein  
6:25 +3 T.J. Warren made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Aaron Holiday 9-10
6:09   P.J. Tucker missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:07   Defensive rebound by Malcolm Brogdon  
5:57   Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:55   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
5:39   Personal foul on T.J. Warren  
5:24 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot 9-12
5:15   T.J. Warren missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:14   Offensive rebound by Aaron Holiday  
5:06 +3 Justin Holiday made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 12-12
4:47   Austin Rivers missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:44   Defensive rebound by Aaron Holiday  
4:40   Justin Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:40   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
4:31   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:28   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
4:18 +2 Domantas Sabonis made alley-oop shot, assist by Aaron Holiday 14-12
4:01 +2 Isaiah Hartenstein made layup, assist by Austin Rivers 14-14
3:39   Malcolm Brogdon missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:38   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
3:28   Thabo Sefolosha missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:27   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
3:21 +3 Justin Holiday made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Malcolm Brogdon 17-14
3:00 +2 Austin Rivers made floating jump shot 17-16
2:43   T.J. Warren missed floating jump shot  
2:42   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
2:30   Bad pass turnover on Chris Clemons, stolen by TJ Leaf  
2:24   Doug McDermott missed jump shot  
2:24   Defensive rebound by Thabo Sefolosha  
2:12 +2 Isaiah Hartenstein made alley-oop shot, assist by Russell Westbrook 17-18
1:50   Unsportsmanlike technical foul  
1:50 +1 Doug McDermott made free throw 18-18
1:44 +2 T.J. McConnell made fade-away jump shot 20-18
1:31 +3 Chris Clemons made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Russell Westbrook 20-21
1:10   Doug McDermott missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:06   Defensive rebound by Chris Clemons  
0:58   Russell Westbrook missed jump shot  
0:57   Defensive rebound by T.J. Warren  
0:53   Personal foul on Thabo Sefolosha  
0:45 +2 TJ Leaf made dunk, assist by T.J. McConnell 22-21
0:32 +2 Thabo Sefolosha made finger-roll layup, assist by Russell Westbrook 22-23
0:12   T.J. McConnell missed jump shot  
0:11   Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
0:01 +3 Thabo Sefolosha made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Russell Westbrook 22-26
0:00   End of period  

2nd Quarter

Time Team Play Score
11:49   Austin Rivers missed driving layup  
11:46   Offensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
11:46 +2 Russell Westbrook made dunk 22-28
11:29 +2 TJ Leaf made dunk, assist by T.J. McConnell 24-28
11:18   Gary Clark missed 3-pt. jump shot  
11:14   Defensive rebound by Doug McDermott  
11:10   Shooting foul on Ben McLemore  
11:10 +1 Goga Bitadze made 1st of 2 free throws 25-28
11:10 +1 Goga Bitadze made 2nd of 2 free throws 26-28
11:04   Russell Westbrook missed driving layup  
11:03   Defensive rebound by TJ Leaf  
10:46 +2 Doug McDermott made layup, assist by Goga Bitadze 28-28
10:39   Offensive foul on P.J. Tucker  
10:39   Turnover on P.J. Tucker  
10:20 +3 Doug McDermott made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by T.J. McConnell 31-28
10:12   Out of bounds turnover on Russell Westbrook  
10:06   Violation  
9:56   T.J. McConnell missed jump shot  
9:55   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
9:47   Shooting foul on Justin Holiday  
9:47 +1 James Harden made 1st of 2 free throws 31-29
9:47 +1 James Harden made 2nd of 2 free throws 31-30
9:40   Personal foul on Ben McLemore  
9:23   Lost ball turnover on Doug McDermott, stolen by James Harden  
9:18   Ben McLemore missed 3-pt. jump shot  
9:14   Defensive rebound by TJ Leaf  
9:08   Shooting foul on P.J. Tucker  
9:08   TJ Leaf missed 1st of 2 free throws  
9:08   IND team rebound  
9:08   TJ Leaf missed 2nd of 2 free throws  
9:08   Offensive rebound by TJ Leaf  
9:04   TJ Leaf missed floating jump shot  
9:00   Offensive rebound by TJ Leaf  
9:00 +2 TJ Leaf made dunk 33-30
8:48 +3 Ben McLemore made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by James Harden 33-33
8:27 +2 Domantas Sabonis made hook shot 35-33
8:11   James Harden missed fade-away jump shot  
8:06   Defensive rebound by Goga Bitadze  
7:57 +2 Doug McDermott made jump shot, assist by Domantas Sabonis 37-33
7:44 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 37-36
7:30   Shooting foul on Isaiah Hartenstein  
7:30 +1 Domantas Sabonis made 1st of 2 free throws 38-36
7:30 +1 Domantas Sabonis made 2nd of 2 free throws 39-36
7:23   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:22   Defensive rebound by Goga Bitadze  
7:05   Justin Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
7:04   Defensive rebound by Austin Rivers  
6:58   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
6:56   Offensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
6:48   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:46   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
6:37 +3 Doug McDermott made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Aaron Holiday 42-36
6:20 +2 Austin Rivers made running Jump Shot 42-38
6:10   Personal foul on Austin Rivers  
6:10   Domantas Sabonis missed 1st of 2 free throws  
6:10   IND team rebound  
6:10 +1 Domantas Sabonis made 2nd of 2 free throws 43-38
6:03   Chris Clemons missed 3-pt. jump shot  
6:01   IND team rebound  
5:48   T.J. Warren missed 3-pt. jump shot  
5:47   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
5:36   James Harden missed driving layup  
5:35   Defensive rebound by Doug McDermott  
5:25 +2 Domantas Sabonis made layup 45-38
5:05   Chris Clemons missed driving layup, blocked by Goga Bitadze  
5:04   Defensive rebound by Goga Bitadze  
5:00   Shooting foul on James Harden  
5:00 +1 T.J. Warren made 1st of 2 free throws 46-38
5:00 +1 T.J. Warren made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-38
4:50 +2 James Harden made floating jump shot 47-40
4:37   Aaron Holiday missed jump shot  
4:35   Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
4:34   Personal foul on Aaron Holiday  
4:29   Personal foul on Aaron Holiday  
4:22   Personal foul on T.J. Warren  
4:14   Russell Westbrook missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:13   Defensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
4:04   Justin Holiday missed 3-pt. jump shot  
4:03   Defensive rebound by James Harden  
3:54 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 47-43
3:28   T.J. Warren missed jump shot  
3:27   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
3:22   Austin Rivers missed 3-pt. jump shot  
3:22   Defensive rebound by Justin Holiday  
3:08   Doug McDermott missed driving layup  
3:06   Offensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
3:03   Domantas Sabonis missed hook shot  
3:02   Offensive rebound by Domantas Sabonis  
2:58   Domantas Sabonis missed layup, blocked by Tyson Chandler  
2:57   Defensive rebound by Russell Westbrook  
2:45   James Harden missed 3-pt. jump shot  
2:43   IND team rebound  
2:25   Bad pass turnover on JaKarr Sampson, stolen by Russell Westbrook  
2:21   Shooting foul on JaKarr Sampson  
2:21 +1 Russell Westbrook made 1st of 2 free throws 47-44
2:21 +1 Russell Westbrook made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-45
2:05   Bad pass turnover on T.J. McConnell, stolen by Austin Rivers  
1:49 +3 James Harden made 3-pt. jump shot 47-48
1:34   T.J. Warren missed floating jump shot  
1:31   Defensive rebound by Tyson Chandler  
1:30   Personal foul on JaKarr Sampson  
1:30 +1 Austin Rivers made 1st of 2 free throws 47-49
1:30 +1 Austin Rivers made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-50
1:17   Bad pass turnover on T.J. McConnell, stolen by P.J. Tucker  
1:14 +2 P.J. Tucker made finger-roll layup 47-52
1:14   Shooting foul on T.J. Warren  
1:14   P.J. Tucker missed free throw  
1:14   Defensive rebound by Justin Holiday  
1:01   Doug McDermott missed 3-pt. jump shot  
1:00   Defensive rebound by Tyson Chandler  
0:54   Personal foul on T.J. McConnell  
0:54 +1 Russell Westbrook made 1st of 2 free throws 47-53
0:54 +1 Russell Westbrook made 2nd of 2 free throws 47-54
0:44 +2 T.J. McConnell made finger-roll layup 49-54
0:30   James Harden missed floating jump shot  
0:30   IND team rebound  
0:07   Doug McDermott missed 3-pt. jump shot  
0:07   Defensive rebound by P.J. Tucker  
0:00   End of period