Rockets outlast Grizzlies to seize division lead

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James Harden AFP PHOTO

James Harden AFP PHOTO

MEMPHIS: James Harden scored 32 points and Josh Smith came off the bench to contribute 21 in his Houston debut as the Rockets beat Memphis 117-111 in overtime on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

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Harden and Dwight Howard each scored four points in the extra five-minute period as the Rockets improved to 21-7 to grab the Southwest division lead from the Grizzlies, who fell to 21-8.

Harden also passed out 10 assists and grabbed eight rebounds for the Rockets, who signed Smith hours earlier after the forward had been dropped Monday by Detroit. Smith played 32 minutes and hit 9-of-21 shots from the field as well as grabbing eight rebounds.

Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 10 rebounds while Howard grabbed 11 rebounds for Houston, which improved to 11-2 in road contests this season.

Spanish center Marc Gasol led Memphis with 29 points while Beno Udrih came off the bench to add 17 points for the Grizzlies, whose losing streak stretched to four games.

AFP

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