James Harden said the Houston Rockets “put on a show” in the second half against the New York Knicks on Saturday night, but the show he was talking about surprisingly had nothing to do with Houston’s potent offense.
In Houston’s 117-102 victory over the Knicks, Harden highlighted the Rockets’ third-quarter defense where the Knicks scored just 13 points, a season-low for points in a quarter both for the Knicks as well as Rockets opponents.
Along with Harden’s 37 points and 10 assists, it was that defensive tenacity that helped the Rockets rally back from a sizable deficit.
The Rockets erased New York’s early 22-point lead by making 18 three-pointers and getting 44 points from their bench, led by 17 from Ryan Anderson.
Portland 108, at Washington 105: C.J. McCollum scored 26 points, including seven straight during a 10-0 game-closing run, and the Trail Blazers overcame a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the short-handed Wizards.
Boston 108, at Indiana 98: Kyrie Irving scored 25 points and Al Horford added 21 to lead the Celtics to a victory over the Pacers. Boston outscored Indiana 37-16 in the third quarter to turn a nine-point deficit into an 82-70 lead entering the final quarter.
at Dallas 97, Oklahoma City 81: Dirk Nowitzki scored a season-high 19 points, rookie Dennis Smith held his own against Russell Westbrook and the Mavericks beat the Thunder.
at Golden State 110, New Orleans 95: Stephen Curry bounced back after an 0-for-10 start and scored 14 of his 27 points in the third quarter, Klay Thompson added 24 points and the Warriors held on to beat the Pelicans.
San Antonio 106, at Charlotte 86: Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge each had 17 points and seven rebounds, and the Spurs held the Hornets to 37% shooting.
at Philadelphia 130, Orlando 111: J.J. Redick hit eight three-pointers and scored 29 points, and the 76ers cruised without the injured Ben Simmons to a victory over the skidding Magic.
at Utah 121, Milwaukee 108: Rookie Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and the Jazz made a season-high 18 three-pointers in a victory over the Bucks.
Toronto 112, at Atlanta 78: Norman Powell scored 17 points, Jonas Valanciunas added 16 and the Raptors blew out the Hawks.