James Harden scores 49 in Rockets’ 7th win in a row

James Harden scored 49 points on a whopping 41 shots from the field and the undermanned Houston Rockets won their seventh straight game, 125-105 over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday night in Minneapolis.

With Russell Westbrook resting, the Rockets needed Harden to shoulder an even bigger scoring load. The 41 attempts are the most in his career, and the most in the NBA this season, surpassing the 37 that Golden State’s D’Angelo Russell took in an overtime loss Nov. 8 in the same building in Minnesota.

Harden made 16 of the 41 shots, going 8 for 22 from 3-point range. He was 9 of 11 on free throws.

Ben McLemore scored 20 points. Undrafted rookie Chris Clemons scored a career-high 19 off the bench for the Rockets, who broke open the game with a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter. Austin Rivers also scored 19 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 27 points and 15 rebounds for the Timberwolves, also short-handed. Andrew Wiggins missed his second consecutive game for personal reasons.

Mavericks 110, Raptors 102: Luka Doncic had 26 points and 15 rebounds and Dallas won at home. Doncic scored nine points in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks added to a one-point lead.

Trail Blazers 121, Spurs 116: CJ McCollum scored 32 points and Portland won in San Antonio to spoil Tim Duncan’s first shot at coaching following Gregg Popovich’s ejection. LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 13 rebounds but the Spurs lost their fifth straight and fell to 5-8.

Nets 117, Bulls 111: Spencer Dinwiddie scored 24 points and Brooklyn won in Chicago without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. Irving entered Saturday sixth in the NBA with 28.5 points per game but sat with a shoulder injury. Brooklyn was just fine without him as Dinwiddie stepped into the starting lineup.

Bucks 102, Pacers 83: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, and Milwaukee forced the Pacers into their worst shooting performance of the season in a rout in Indianapolis. Brook Lopez added 15 points and eight boards. His five blocked shots helped hold the Pacers, missing their top two point guards, to a season-low 32% from the field.

Heat 109, Pelicans 94: Kendrick Nunn scored 22 points and Miami remained unbeaten at home. Bam Adebayo had 18 points and 14 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler added 16 points, 13 assists and eight rebounds. Miami is 5-0 at home and 9-3 overall, tying the best 12-game start in team history.

Hornets 103, Knicks 102: Devonte’ Graham made his ninth 3-pointer of the game with 2.8 seconds left, finishing with 29 points to lead Charlotte to a victory in the Big Apple.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/James-Harden-scores-49-in-Rockets-7th-win-in-a-14841093.php.

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