James Harden’s Heroics Help Rockets Edge Thunder

    There's a new franchise record with James Harden's name next to it. The Houston guard became the highest scorer in a game on Christmas Day in franchise

    December 25, 2018

    There’s a new franchise record with James Harden’s name next to it.

    The Houston guard became the highest scorer in a game on Christmas Day in franchise history with 41 points in a 113-109 win over the Thunder. Harden also added six rebounds and seven assists to carry the Rockets offensively.

    Houston was without Chris Paul as he continues to recover from a hamstring strain. Eric Gordon made the start in his place, providing 17 points.

    Russell Westbrook and Paul George paced the Thunder despite struggling from the floor. Westbrook tallied 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists while George added 28 points and 14 rebounds of his own. The duo combined to go 16-of-45 from the floor.

    Newly acquired guard Austin Rivers hit two late 3-pointers for the Rockets to maintain their lead, but George was able to steal the ball from Harden and then draw a foul on the other end to keep the game close. George hit both free throws to close the gap to 110-108, setting up Harden’s heroics.

    The superstar drove to the lane and sunk a floater to give Houston a four-point lead with 20 seconds left. The Rockets held on for their seventh win in the last eight contests.

    Houston was able to overcome an eight-point halftime deficit, 19 turnovers and a relatively poor shooting effort from behind the arc in the victory.

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