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Harden Leads Houston Rockets to Win in Final Seconds

Mar 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) in the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) dribbles against Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris (14) in the first quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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James Harden’s go-ahead layup in the final seconds led the Houston Rockets past the relentless Denver Nuggets.

No one could have imagined that two of the most competitive games of the season would be against the Denver Nuggets. Following a nail-biting victory in the Mile High the night before, the Houston Rockets sneaked past the Nuggets Monday night at the Toyota Center.

In a game where the Nuggets had Houston’s number for the majority of the time, James Harden may have ended the MVP debate.

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During the first half, the Nuggets’ defense made it a miserable night for the Rockets. They held Houston to 7-for-20 from behind the arc. They also out-rebounded Houston 30-13 to give them a 65-62 lead at the half.

Despite their first half struggles, things started to turn around for the Rockets in the second half. With Harden and Patrick Beverley leading the way, the Rockets shot 55% from 3-point land during the third and fourth quarters, scoring 32 and 31 points respectively. The Rockets also scored 27 points off the Nuggets’ 19 turnovers throughout the game.

The game was about as back and forth as could be, but that gave Harden an opportunity to prove his worthiness of being named MVP. With six seconds remaining and the Rockets down by one, Harden drove for a 94-foot uncontested game-winning layup. He ended one of his best games of the season with 39 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds.

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Houston had seven players who scored in double figures, led by Eric Gordon who scored 18 points on 55% shooting.

In the loss, the Denver Nuggets were led by shooting guard Gary Harris with a career-high 28 points. As well as rising star Nikola Jokic with a double-double 22 points, 13 rebounds, and eight assists.

Next, the Houston Rockets will look to continue their winning streak on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans. In the past month, they have beaten them by 30 and also lost by 16. That could be anybody’s game.

Next: MVP Debate: James Harden vs. Kawhi Leonard

Stay tuned to Space City Scoop for more Houston Rockets news, analysis, and opinions. Go Rockets!

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