Harden carries Rockets over Trail BlazersFeb 9, 2013 - 5:03 AM Houston, TX (Sports Network) - James Harden poured in a game-high 35 points and dished out 11 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-103 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday.
Harden went 13-for-16 from the field, including 4-of-5 from 3-point range, to notch his 15th 30-plus point performance of the season.
Chandler Parsons added 20 points while Patrick Patterson and Jeremy Lin finished with 16 points apiece for the Rockets, who have won six of their last eight contests.
"Teammates are knocking down shots and it's tough to guard us," Harden said. "When my teammates are knocking down shots, I'm getting easy layups, so it was a good team effort tonight."
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 31 points and pulled down 11 boards and Nicolas Batum scored 24 points for the Trail Blazers, who have dropped three of their last five.
Harden and the Rockets started the game off hot to jump out to a 34-28 lead after the first quarter. Harden poured in 10 points in the frame on 4-of-4 shooting the field. Houston finished 13-for-20 (65 percent) from the floor and went 5-for-9 (55.6 percent) from 3-point range.
"This year he is incredible," Batum said of Harden. "I don't know if he's the best shooting guard in the league right now, but maybe he is. He's had a great year for them."
It was the same story for the Rockets in the second as they finished 11-for-17 from field goal range to take a 62-53 lead into the break. Harden went 4-for-4 from the floor once again to finish with 20 points over the first 24 minutes.
Harden finally missed a field goal in the third period, but Houston didn't miss a beat, shooting 66.7 percent (14-for-21) from the floor and outscoring the Blazers, 33-27. Patterson led the way for the Rockets in the frame with 12 points followed by Harden with 10.
The lead swelled as large as 20 over the final 12 minutes.
Houston outscored the Blazers, 52-38 in the paint ... The Rockets shot 59.5 percent (47-for-79) from the field ... Damian Lillard scored 18 points in the setback.
- PORTLAND: 103
Feb 8 10:16 PM
- PORTLAND: 80
End of 3rd
Feb 8 9:47 PM
- PORTLAND: 53
Feb 8 9:07 PM
- PORTLAND: 28
End of 1st
Feb 8 8:34 PM
- PORTLAND: 0
1st Quarter - 11:45
Feb 8 8:12 PM
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