NEW YORK: James Harden bagged his 12th triple-double of the season as the Houston Rockets routed the Brooklyn Nets 137-112 to end their two-game losing streak on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Harden compiled 22 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds, completing his triple with three assists in the final quarter as the Rockets pummelled the Nets.
Harden was one of six Houston players to make double figures as the Rockets bounced back from consecutive losses to Minnesota and Memphis.
Eric Gordon drained four three-pointers and led Houston’s scoring with 24 points while Trevor Ariza added 23 points.
Patrick Beverley and Montrezl Harrell weighed in with 16 points each while Ryan Anderson added 12 as the Rockets blew away a feeble Nets defense.
It was a 10th straight defeat for the Nets, who are now propping up the Eastern Conference standings with a dismal 8-32 record.
Houston’s win saw them improve to 32-11, leaving them third in the Western Conference standings behind Golden State and San Antonio.
Brooklyn’s losing streak is the second time in the past year that they have lost 10 in a row.
Trevor Booker led the scoring for the Nets with 18 points while Randy Foye contributed 13.
Raptors get physical as New York downed
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points as a physical Toronto Raptors outmuscled the New York Knicks 116-101.
DeRozan added five assists and five rebounds for Toronto but it was the no-nonsense defensive effort from his team that delighted Raptors coach Dwane Casey.
“I was really proud of the way the starters came out and set the tone, especially starting the third quarter,” Casey said.
“(We) came out, set the tone defensively and built a 30-plus (point) lead, so my hats off to those guys.”
Kyle Lowry, who finished with 16 points, nine assists and four rebounds, for Toronto, agreed.
“I just think we got more physical,” Lowry said of the defense. “I think we started to get more physical after the first part of the first quarter and we just kept going.
“The bigs did a good job of rebounding and we got out and were able to run.”
Toronto effectively sealed victory in the third quarter, outscoring the Knicks 27-8.
The Raptors third win in a row improved their record to 27-13 in the Eastern Conference standings. The Canadian franchise has now defeated the Knicks in five straight games.
“We weren’t getting the stops, were not scoring, had some looks, but when you’re not scoring, that’s when you have to focus defensively and say, ‘OK we may not be scoring, but we can stay in this game with defense’,” Knicks coach Jeff Hornacek said.
“We weren’t good enough to play any defense and it just ballooned out from there.”
Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks with 18 points, with Justin Holiday adding 17 and Derrick Rose 16 with three assists.
It was a fourth loss in five games for New York, who have a losing 18-23 record at the midpoint of the season.
Rose, who was fined last week for his mysterious no-show, said he was at a loss to explain the team’s woes.
“Everybody has to analyze what’s going on,” Rose said.
“I really can’t tell what it is. Can’t put a finger on it. I don’t know what it is. First time being in this (situation).”