Rockets Avoid Collapse To Beat Raptors

James Harden leads Houston Rockets against Toronto Raptors on the back of a stunning run of form | NBA News

James Harden kept his streak of 30-point games alive by dropping 35 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 121-119 win over the Toronto Raptors on Friday, January 25 (Saturday, January 26, Philippine time).

Harden's stretch of 30-point games is the fourth-longest in league history, behind three streaks by Chamberlain of 25, 31 and 65 games. P.J. Tucker, Eric Gordon, and Kenneth Faried were instrumental in the Rockets cruising out to a 22-point lead in the first half.

Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets shoots the ball against the Brooklyn Nets on February 6, 2018 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. Leonard pulled Toronto to within nine, but there was only 1:15 remaining on the clock and James Harden knocked down a pair of free throws to increase the lead to double digits.

Harden credited the Raptors' defence with cooling off his torrid scoring binge.

The Raptors got 32 points from Leonard as they dropped their second straight. "Tonight, I'm sure we made a lot of mistakes, but the way we rotated and boxed out and guarded the basketball made up for a lot of them". "I think he's ready to go, we're just being extra careful and Sunday seems to be a good day". He shot just 9-of-15 from the field, making only one field goal in the final quarter, but went 15-of-15 from the free throw line. The undersized forward recorded 21 points and 14 rebounds on eight-of-11 shooting in his third game with the Rockets and came up big in the clutch. The strong play of Faried gave Harden some much-needed help Friday and The Beard will get another reinforcement Sunday night when Paul is expected to return after missing 17 games with a strained left hamstring.

Houston then used a 9-0 run to extend the lead to 108-94 about three minutes later. He forced Leonard into taking a tough, tightly contested 3-pointer from the right wing that failed to even draw iron at the buzzer as the Houston Rockets won 121-119. Serge Ibaka has scored 18 points and added 7.6 rebounds while shooting 53.5 percent over the last 10 games for Toronto.

Raptors: Jonas Valanciunas missed his 21st game with a dislocated left thumb.

Admittedly, the game got a little weird in the fourth quarter, the Raptors were hanging around by a thread but didn't look like mounting a comeback until late in the fourth, Danny Green and Pascal Siakam both knocked down huge threes late in the game to give the Raptors a chance.

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