Harden hits leader as Rockets corner Suns

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Harden hits personality as Rockets corner Suns

PHOENIX — With a diversion tied and 16.6 second left after a mad convene by a Phoenix Suns, nobody else was going to fire a final shot — or even reason a round — for a Houston Rockets.

This was James Harden’s diversion to win.

“Tie game. On a road,” Harden pronounced with a smile. “You live for those moments.”

The ensure done it a impulse to remember, attack a game-winning jumper over from 20 feet during a buzzer to give a Rockets a 113-111 win over a Suns on Friday.

Forward Donatas Motiejunas combined 15 for a Rockets, who led by 16 points with 6:11 to play before a Suns put on a mad rally, restraining a diversion on during 111 on three-point play by brazen Markieff Morris with 16.6 seconds left.

Harden had 10 assists in a game, though he was finished with passing. He reason a round out by midcourt until a few seconds remained before subsidy down Phoenix defender P.J. Tucker and attack a game-winning shot.

“We had a flattering plain lead though we knew they were going to make a run and they did it during a ideal time,” Harden said. “It comes down to one shot, possibly we make it or we skip it and we go to overtime, and we done it.”

The Rockets won though core Dwight Howard, who sprained his right ankle entrance down on Markieff Morris’ ankle in a initial period.

Sitting in a sauce room with his right ankle in a walking boot, Howard took over a explanation while he watched a final seconds parasite down on television.

“Once James got a ball, we said, ‘This is it, he’s gonna strike a dagger right here and he did it,” Howard said. “I’m unapproachable of a immature fella.”

The Rockets softened to 30-14 — usually a fourth time they have reached 30 wins in 44 games in authorization history. It’s their best start given going 32-12 in 1996-97. Houston has now beaten a Suns 4 true times, including twice this season.

Guard Eric Bledsoe had 25 points, 9 assists and 8 rebounds and ensure Isaiah Thomas combined 22 for a Suns, who had won 4 in a quarrel altogether and 7 in a quarrel during US Airways Center. The Suns have mislaid 3 games during a buzzer this season, with Harden fasten Khris Middleton of a Milwaukee Bucks (Dec. 15) and Blake Griffin of a Los Angeles Clippers (Dec. 8) as a culprits.

“We done a good quip though in never should have gotten that point,” Phoenix manager Jeff Hornacek said. “If we would have come tough from a start of a game, doing a things that we’re ostensible to do, we would’ve jumped in a lead and put a lot of vigour on them. Instead, we let them have a lead many of a game.

Down 102-86 with 6:11 left, a Suns rallied with a 9-0 run over a 1:43 camber and pulled to within 104-100 on brazen Marcus Morris’ 3-pointer with 2:27 left. Harden kept scoring though a Suns kept answering, finally removing even on Markieff Morris’ pushing layup and tainted by Joey Dorsey. Harden, a former Arizona State star, had one some-more shot left.

“We didn’t wish to let Harden kick us,” Hornacek said. “When sent Isaiah (to double team) with 5 (seconds left), though he done a good play. Isaiah flew by him during that indicate and we couldn’t get a round out of his hands. Great players make good plays.”

The diversion was roughly a annulment of Wednesday night, when a Portland Trail Blazers rallied from 25 points down opposite Phoenix before a Suns rallied to win.

“That’s what happens when we play a diversion like that,” Thomas said. “Portland fought so tough to come behind and afterwards we finished them off. It’s tough when you’re down and we quarrel so tough and we feel like we should have one and afterwards things like that happen.”

After Howard limped off a court, a Rockets scored 9 true points and non-stop a 30-18 lead, with a Harden 3-pointer followed by a floating jumper by ensure Corey Brewer with 1:22 left.

Harden had 13 of his 18 first-half points in a second duration and 7 points in a final 2:33 of a half, including a asperse with 26.9 seconds left to give Houston a 60-52 lead.

The Rockets stretched a lead to 87-77 after 3 buliding interjection to 8 points from brazen Josh Smith. Then came a 16-point lead, a mad Phoenix quip and Harden’s final word.

“It’s James Harden doing his thing,” Houston ensure Patrick Beverly said. “I’ve been personification with him for 3 years now … zero surprises me now. In my eyes, he’s a best actor in a joining right now. He’s a personality and entrance down to a clutch, that’s a chairman we wish with a ball.”

NOTES: The Rockets 24-2 when heading during halftime this season. … Suns F P.J. Tucker reason Rockets G James Harden to 5-for-21 sharpened and 15 points — 12 underneath his 27.2 normal — in a initial assembly this season, won by Houston 100-95. “P.J. is a tough a intelligent defender,” Phoenix manager Jeff Hornacek said. “He tries not to let guys get to their strengths and for James, that’s apparently vouchsafing him drive. You’re not going to stop a star player, though if we can reason them underneath their average, it’s all we can ask.” … The Suns came into a diversion with 4 true 50-percent-or-better sharpened games, their longest strain given Feb. 23-28, 2010. That strain finished Friday, when a Suns shot 46.2 percent from a field. Over a final dual seasons, a Suns are 35-1 when sharpened during slightest 50 percent from a field. … The Rockets are on gait to make 971 3-point margin goals this year, that would break a record of 891 set by a New York Knicks in 2012-13.

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