James Harden and the Houston Rockets overcame a monster performance from Russell Westbrook, hanging on for a thrilling 115-112 road win Sunday.
Harden reached the 40-point mark for the tenth time this season, scoring a game-high 41 points and put the game away in the fourth quarter.
The Rockets have won three in a row as they gear up for the postseason.
Per the Houston Chronicle:
With a tweak to the offense and a defense suddenly matching up with Harden one-on-one, the Rockets’ star barely blinked from the brightness of the green light flashing before him before he went to work. Harden scored 10-consecutive fourth-quarter Rockets points, building just enough of a cushion for the Rockets to hold off the Thunder, 115-112, in Chesapeake Energy Arena. […] “Nine times out of 10, he’s going to make a move and get a good shot off if it’s one-on-one,” Rockets guard Jason Terry said. “He’s the best in the game that we have right now playing one-on-one. We like our chances.”
With the Thunder within two and more than five minutes remaining, he scored or set up the final six Rockets field goals of the game, on his way to 41 points, his league-high 10th game with at least 40. […] “We tried running some stuff, see if we couldn’t get a switch with a guy James would (prefer),” head coach Kevin McHale said. “James feels pretty comfortable with anybody. We got the match up we wanted and kind of flattened it out and let James go to work.”
Finally, the Rockets could not get the switch, with Westbrook staying on Harden after a (Corey) Brewer screen. Unable to shake Westbrook, Harden moved to 18 feet and then nailed his jumper over him for an eight-point lead with 1:25 left. […] “That’s my job,” Harden said. “That’s what I to do. I have to go out there and take the big shots. My teammates did a great job that entire game of just making shots, getting to the rim and being in attack mode, being aggressive. And in that 4th quarter I have to make big shots.”