Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden showed no ill signs of a thumb
injury and Jeremy Lin recorded his first career triple-double in a reserve
role as the Houston Rockets upended the Cleveland Cavaliers, 106-92, on
Saturday for their third straight victory.
Harden was sidelined in notable wins against San Antonio and Dallas earlier
this week and returned to the tune of 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting.
Lin finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in 29 minutes, and
Dwight Howard and Terrence Jones added 26 and 17 points, respectively.
"Jeremy had a really good game. We really needed it. He came out and brought
good juice," Rockets head coach Kevin McHale said of Lin.
Luol Deng, Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters accounted for 69.5 percent of
Cleveland's points. Deng finished with 24, Irving had 21 and Waiters totaled
19 off the bench.
Houston built a 31-23 advantage over the first 12 minutes and used a 14-2 run
to stretch its lead to 49-30 midway through the second.
The Cavs did not back down, scoring 10 of the next 12 points, and got within
eight before Harden beat the halftime buzzer with a 3-pointer to give the
Rockets a 61-52 lead.
Cleveland even took a brief lead by roaring out of the break with 11
consecutive points, but the momentum was short-lived.
Howard bookended Houston's own 11-0 spurt with a hook shot and a slam -- the
latter coming off a no-look pass from Lin -- and a Harden putback in the
closing seconds sent the Rockets into the fourth with an 84-73 advantage.
Triples by Lin and Jones widened the gap to 93-78 early in the final stanza,
and Houston led by double digits the rest of the way.
"They were just making big plays and the game got away from us," Irving said.
Cavs center Anderson Varejao missed a third straight game with a knee injury
... Houston's Patrick Beverley was held scoreless but had 10 rebounds, eight
assists and five steals ... The Rockets shot 51.3 percent from the field ...
Houston held a 44-32 rebounding advantage ... Cleveland has lost seven
straight games in Houston.
The Sports Network