NBA: James Harden lifts Rockets past Bulls, 121-117, in OT

NBA: James Harden lifts Rockets past Bulls, 121-117, in OT

Rockets guard James Harden works around Bulls guard Michael Carter-Williams during a game in Housont on Feb. 3.

(Eric Christian Smith / Associated Press)

James Harden had 42 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to rally the Houston Rockets past the Chicago Bulls, 121-117, in overtime Friday night. 

Harden hit a step-back jumper over Paul Zipser with 36.1 seconds remaining in the extra period and was fouled. He made the free throw to give the Rockets a two-point lead they never relinquished. 

After losing to Atlanta on Thursday night, the Rockets improved to 12-1 this season in the second of back-to-back games. 

The Bulls played without star forward Jimmy Butler, who was nursing a bruised heel. Starting in his place, Michael Carter-Williams had 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists before fouling out with two minutes remaining in overtime. 


Harden hit a step-back jumper over Carter-Williams to tie the game at 108 with 27.3 seconds remaining in regulation. 

On the next possession, Dwyane Wade lost his dribble when guarded by Trevor Ariza, leading to a shot-clock violation with 3.3 seconds to go. Harden tried the same move against Carter-Williams at the buzzer, but his shot fell short. 

Chicago dominated the Rockets’ interior defense, outscoring Houston 60-46 in the paint. Taj Gibson scored 20 points for the Bulls, and Wade had 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists. 

The Rockets built a lead that reached 17 midway through the second quarter as they opened the period on a 26-7 run, all with Harden on the bench. Chicago cut Houston’s lead to 60-49 at halftime. 


The Bulls started the third quarter on a run of their own, outscoring the Rockets 24-12 out of the extended halftime break and entered the fourth quarter with a two-point lead. 

In a special halftime ceremony, the Rockets retired Yao Ming’s No. 11 jersey with a dedication that featured Yao’s family, former teammates, fellow Hall of Famers Hakeem Olajuwon and Dikembe Mutombo as well as NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. 

at Oklahoma City 114, Memphis 103: Russell Westbrook scored 19 of his 38 points in the fourth quarter as the Thunder snapped a three-game losing streak.

Westbrook also had 13 rebounds and 12 assists for his 25th triple-double this season and the 62nd of his career. 

Indiana 106, at Brooklyn 97: Paul George and Jeff Teague each scored 24 points as the Pacers won their fifth straight. Brook Lopez scored 23 points for the Nets, who have lost eight in a row.

at Detroit 116, Minnesota 108: Marcus Morris scored a career-high 36 points for the Pistons, who overcame 5-for-20 shooting from its starting backcourt of Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. Jon Leuer added a career-high 24 points for Detroit.

at Orlando 102, Toronto 94: Serge Ibaka scored 20 points and grabbed 12 rebounds while Evan Fournier added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Magic.

Dallas 108, at Portland 104: Yogi Ferrell, who signed a 10-day contract with the Mavericks six days ago, scored 32 points in a victory over the Trail Blazers.


Phoenix 105, at Sacramento 103: Devin Booker scored 33 points and made the game-winning jumper at the buzzer as the Suns snapped a five-game losing streak. 

at Celtics 113, Lakers 107