Tuesday, November 25, 2014
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Rockets 91, Knicks 86

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[November 25, 2014]  Rockets 91, Knicks 86: James Harden poured in a season-high 36 points, including his team's final 12, and matched his career high with seven 3-pointers as short-handed Houston pulled away from visiting New York.

Donatas Motiejunas collected 13 points and eight rebounds for Houston, which was without star center Dwight Howard (knee) and starters Patrick Beverley (hamstring) and Terrence Jones (leg). Trevor Ariza added 10 points and had three of the Rockets' 13 steals.

Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 14 points despite missing the entire second half because of back spasms. Jose Calderon and Travis Wear each scored nine points, and Amar'e Stoudemire, Shane Larkin, Pablo Prigioni and J.R. Smith added eight apiece for New York.

The Knicks were down by 11 when Anthony departed but scored the final seven points of the half to pull within 51-46 and took advantage of three straight Houston turnovers to begin the third with six straight points for a 52-51 lead. Harden gave the Rockets the lead four times in the third quarter, but New York answered each time and forged a 69-69 tie entering the fourth on Stoudemire's jumper with 27 seconds left in the quarter.

New York took its largest lead of the game at 78-72 on a Tim Hardaway Jr. 3-pointer with 8:51 left, but Houston responded with seven straight points to regain the lead. Iman Shumpert's basket with 3:53 left knotted it at 82, but Harden answered with a 3-pointer before knocking down six straight free throws down the stretch to ice it.

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GAME NOTEBOOK: Harden's five games with 30 or more points this season are tied for the league lead with LeBron James. New York has lost six straight road games overall and has dropped 10 straight in the series dating to Jan. 26, 2009. Beverley has missed time with the same injury on three separate occasions dating to the second game of the season, and Rockets coach Kevin McHale said he is likely to take more time off to allow the nagging hamstring to heal.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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