James Harden fired up in the fourth quarter, scoring 19 of his 35 points, to lead the Houston Rockets to a road victory over the Toronto Raptors.
Harden connected on just 12 of his 30 shots but made critical baskets in the final seven-and-a-half minutes of the game to allow the Rockets to pull away from the Raptors and score their sixth consecutive victory.
Houston led by 20 points midway through the second quarter but Toronto battled back to reduce the deficit to a single point at the start of the final period.
Harden, playing with four fouls, canned a triple with 7:08 remaining to push the Rockets’ lead back up to 10. Another three with 5:48 left and four clutch free throws followed. ‘The Beard’ then iced the game with two floated jump shots in the final two-and-a-half minutes.
Speaking after the game, Harden said: “I didn’t shoot the ball well tonight but I’m going to keep going. My team-mates have faith in me to do what I do. They picked it up tonight. Gerald (Green) played well tonight. Chris (Paul) made some great passes. Total team effort tonight.
Tuesday night’s scores
- Houston Rockets 107-95 Toronto Raptors
- Boston Celtics 128-95 Golden State Warriors
- Oklahoma City Thunder 120-131 Minnesota Timberwolves
- Orlando Magic 106-114 Philadelphia 76ers
- Chicago Bulls 96-105 Indiana Pacers
- Portland Trail Blazers 111-120 Memphis Grizzlies
“This winning streak we’ve been on, we’ve been healthy, guys have been catching their rhythm. It feels good.”