Houston Rockets Recap: James Harden Drops 44 on Pacers Leading to 47th Win
On Monday, James Harden scored 18 points in the first half, and finished with a game high 44 points, scoring 19 in the fourth quarter against the Indiana Pacers. It was his eighth forty-point performance this season. The Rockets are 3–7 when Harden scores 16 points or less. Harden finished with 16 points, in a losing effort on Saturday versus the Phoenix Suns.
The Rockets entered the game with a decimated front line. Starting forward, Terrence Jones (partial collapsed lung), Kostas Papanikolaou(ankle), and Dwight Howard (knee edema) were ruled out for this game. Josh Smith was listed as questionable after rolling his ankle Saturday night against the Suns. He gave it a go and had a very productive game with 18 points, including 4 3-pointers. Smith nailed a 3-point shot with 2:40 left in the fourth quarter to give the Rockets a 101–90 lead. After that basket, the Pacer fans began to file out of the arena.
The Rockets placed a greater emphasis on rebounding, by having each player crash the boards for most of the night. They were out rebounded 40-35, but kept the deficit manageable. Trevor Ariza led the Rockets with 11 rebounds.
The Pacers’ playoff hopes are in jeopardy. C.J. Watson led them with 23 points and George Hill added 20 points, but Paul George is still out indefinitely (rehabilitation for broken leg). They were also without guard, Rodney Stuckey (strained calf). The Pacers have lost six consecutive games and four straight home games.
Houston (47 – 23) at New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
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