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Harden scores 30, Rockets beat Hornets

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE (AP) — James Harden had 30 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists, and the Houston Rockets beat the Charlotte Hornets 107-95 on Thursday night for their third straight win.

It was the 25th time Harden has scored at least 30 points.

Harden was just 8 of 21 from the field and had nine turnovers, but turned up his play a notch down the stretch as the Rockets overcame a nine-point, third-quarter deficit.

The Rockets forced the Hornets into a season-high 22 turnovers, leading to 27 points.

Patrick Beverly had 17 points and Montrezl Harrell added 15 off the bench for the Rockets (39-17)

Nic Batum had 15 points and 10 assists for the Hornets, who have lost eight of their last nine.

The Hornets built a 54-50 halftime lead, holding Harden to 13 points on 3-of-12 shooting.

But the game got away in the third quarter after a series of miscues, including two bad passes by Batum.

The Rockets took command with Harden scoring 14 points in the quarter.

Beverly made a double-digit game with less than 3 minutes to play and sent fans streaming to the exits when he knocked down a jumper in the corner over Kemba Walker then stared down the Hornets All-Star point guard and put his hand over his face as he retreated down the floor. The Hornets never challenged after that.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Eric Gordon (back soreness) and Nene (shoulder) did not play for the Rockets. “He’s got a shoulder issue that he’s got to take care of,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said. “It’s not bad.” … Clint Capela has his 30th game with 10-plus points this season, scoring 11 points.

Hornets: Cody Zeller returned to the starting lineup after missing seven games with a quad contusion.  However, Zeller left the game in the second half with soreness in the quad, finishing with nine points and four rebounds.

UP NEXT

Rockets: Host  Phoenix on Saturday night.

Hornets: Host the Clippers on Saturday.

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