Cleveland, OH, United States (4E Sports) – James Harden scored 37, including five 3-pointers, and had 11 assists to lead the Houston Rockets over the Cleveland Cavaliers, 118-111 Saturday at Quicken Loans Arena.
He also went 9 of 15 from the field and hit all 14 of his free throws before being pulled out after three quarters with the Rockets leading by 29.
Chandler Parsons scored 16 points while Patrick Beverley added 15 for the win.
The Rockets took a 17-4 lead in the first 3:38 but the Cavs cut the lead to 36-31 at 1:16 of the opening period with a 13-5 run.
Harden scored 12 points in the last three minutes of the second to push the Rockets’ lead to as much as 15 before they settled for a 67-55 advantage at halftime.
The Cavs scored the first seven points of the third quarter to cut the lead to 67-62, but an Omar Asik dunk, Harden’s five free throws and Terrence Jones’ field goal made it 76-62.
A 20-4 Rockets blast fueled by 12 points from Harden pushed the lead to 101-72 with 1:45 left in the third.
The Rockets took out Harden in the fourth and played their reserves, allowing the Cavs to cut the margin.
Dion Waiters led Cleveland with 26 points. Tyler Zeller added a career-high 23 points for the Cavaliers, who also played without Kyrie Irving and Luol Deng.