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Harden’s record triple-double powers Rockets over Kings

By AFP - Dec 15,2016 - Last updated at Dec 15,2016

Houston Rockets’ James Harden (centre) is fouled by Sacramento Kings’ Kosta Koufos during their NBA game, on Wednesday, in Houston (AP photo by David J. Phillip)

LOS ANGELES — James Harden matched the franchise record for career triple-doubles to lead the Houston Rockets to a dominating 132-98 victory over the shorthanded Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Harden finished with 15 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds to post his 14th career triple-double and equal the mark set by NBA Hall of Fame centre Hakeem Olajuwon.

Harden needed only 30 minutes to deliver his fifth triple-double on the season in front of a crowd of 15,000 at the Rockets’ Toyota Centre arena.

And the Rockets produced a season-high 40 assists on 50 field goals, their most since February 1995.

“Everybody is getting shots, everybody is scoring the basketball. Everybody is happy,” Harden said.

The Rockets improved to 19-7 on the season and won their eighth consecutive game.

Houston also flirted with the NBA record for three-pointers, hitting 22 of 42 from behind the arc while cruising to the win.

The Rockets extended their league record for consecutive games with at least 10 three-pointers at the 7:13 mark of the second quarter on a three from Sam Dekker.

Forward Ryan Anderson led all five Houston starters in double figures with 22 points. He was four for seven from three-point range while forward Trevor Ariza finished five-for-seven from beyond the arc.

Elsewhere in San Antonio, Texas, Kawhi Leonard scored 26 points as the San Antonio Spurs held on for a 108-101 win over the Boston Celtics.

Pau Gasol added 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Tony Parker had eight points in a two-and-a-half-minute stretch of the fourth quarter to help San Antonio withstand a Celtics comeback try.

Parker finished with 16 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter as San Antonio improved to 20-5 on the season.

Manu Ginobili added 12 points and Dewayne Dedmon and Patty Mills had 10 each.

In Salt Lake City, Rodney Hood scored 25 points and Gordon Hayward added 17 to lead the Utah Jazz to a 109-89 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Shelvin Mack added 15 points and five assists off the bench while Rudy Gobert notched his 16th double-double of the season with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Utah led from start to finish while shooting 58.3 per cent from the field and 13-of-23 from three-point range.

Russell Westbrook tallied 27 points, six rebounds and five assists for Oklahoma City.

Enes Kanter added 19 points off the bench for the Thunder, who lost for the third time in four games.

In Memphis, Marc Gasol posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds to power the Memphis Grizzlies to an easy 93-85 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers who played without their three stars LeBron James, Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving.

The Cavaliers decided to give the three the night off and it showed as Cleveland never led in the game and trailed by 25 points in the fourth quarter.

Memphis got a game-high 20 points from guard Troy Daniels off the bench and he hit four of eight three-pointers.


Swingman Tony Allen finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, three steals, an assist and a block. Guard Toney Douglas chipped in 14 points with six rebounds, five assists and two steals for the Grizzlies.

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