In a battle of MVP candidates Sunday night in Houston, James Harden came out on top.

Harden’s 38-11-10 triple-double bested LeBron James (30 points, seven rebounds) in the Rockets’ 117-112 win against the visiting Cavs.

Kyrie Irving added 28 points for Cleveland, which lost for the fourth time in five games.

Per the AP:

“We beat Golden State. We beat San Antonio, but that was earlier,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “We haven’t had one (recently), so this was good. This will give us a little boost.”

 

It was the 16th triple-double this season for Harden and his 31st game with at least 30 points. […] “It’s a big win for us, especially because we’re down the stretch and it’s time to begin preparing ourselves for postseason,” Harden said. “Big win against the defending champs.”

 

“We played hard and fought down the stretch and got tired,” (Cavs head coach Tyronn) Lue said. “I thought LeBron got tired and Kyrie got tired. What we took advantage of in the first half, we weren’t able to get those things in the second half because our guys got tired.”