*

upload_article_image

Harden has big 4th quarter, Rockets beat Suns 115-109

James Harden scored 18 of his 34 points in the fourth quarter and Ben McLemore added 27 points to help the Houston Rockets outlast the Phoenix Suns 115-109 on Saturday night.

Harden had a tough shooting night through three quarters and was 5 of 19 overall and 1 of 10 on 3s with 16 points before getting going in the fourth. The game was tied with about 7 minutes left, and he scored all of Houston's points in a 13-6 run that made it 102-95.

Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his third straight triple-double and sixth this season. Harden finished 8 of 27, 3 of 17 on 3s and made 15 of 18 free throws.

Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook (0) goes up for a shot as Phoenix Suns' Ricky Rubio (11) and Mikal Bridges defend during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. The Rockets won 115-109. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

Devin Booker led the Suns with 35 points after scoring a season-high 44 in an overtime victory at New Orleans on Thursday night.

The Suns cut the lead to five twice in the last 90 seconds, but both times Westbrook made a layup to extend the advantage. And the second time he was fouled on the shot and made the free throw to make it 114-106.

The Suns scored seven straight points, capped by a dunk from Kelly Oubre, to tie it at 85 with about 9 minutes left. After a timeout, Harden scored Houston's first points in about three minutes on a layup to put Houston back on top.

Houston Rockets' Ben McLemore (16) dunks the ball against the Phoenix Suns during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

It was tied again before Harden scored five points to give the Rockets a 94-89 lead. He stole the ball from Ty Jerome after that and was fouled by Booker on a drive, with Harden aggressively continuing forward and pushing Booker off the court. Harden later shoved Booker, and they both received technical fouls, to the bewilderment of the Suns.

Harden made both free throws to make it seven points in a row and was fouled again after he stole the ball from Mikal Bridges. Harden made one of those free throws to make it 97-89.

TIP-INS

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Phoenix Suns' Frank Kaminsky (8) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

Suns: Oubre had 19 points. ... Dario Saric added 13 points and 12 rebounds. ... Bridges had 14 points. ... The Suns made 11 of 35 3s.

Rockets: C Tyson Chandler missed the game with flu-like symptoms. ... Houston coach Mike D'Antoni received a technical for yelling at the officials in the fourth quarter. ... It's McLemore's second straight game with 20 points after he scored a season-high 28 against Toronto on Thursday night. ... Houston made 11 of 40 3s.

UP NEXT

Houston Rockets' James Harden (13) goes up for a shot as Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker (1) reaches to foul him during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

Suns: Host Minnesota on Monday night.

Rockets: Host Sacramento on Monday night.

Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook, right, drives toward the basket as Phoenix Suns' Ty Jerome (10) defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

Houston Rockets' Clint Capela (15) goes up to dunk the ball as Phoenix Suns' Kelly Oubre Jr. (3) defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. The Rockets won 115-109. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)

Houston Rockets' Russell Westbrook (0) and Phoenix Suns' Devin Booker (1) reach for a loose ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019, in Houston. (AP PhotoDavid J. Phillip)