Houston Rockets' Jeremy Lin reacts after colliding with Milwaukee Bucks' Larry Sanders during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Friday, January 04, 2013 11:19 pm
Harden's 29 lead Rockets over Bucks, 115-101
The Associated Press
Harden shot 11 of 18 from the floor to go with seven assists and four steals for Houston, which has won 10 of its last 13 games.
The Rockets, who shot 54 percent from the field, also got 22 points from Carlos Delfino in his return to Milwaukee. He played for the Bucks from 2009-12 before signing with Houston as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason.
The Rockets' Jeremy Lin was taken to the locker room with 10:34 left in the third after the left side of his head was slightly bloodied after he collided with the right cheek of Milwaukee's Larry Sanders as the two scrambled for a loose ball near half court. He returned to the bench with just under 3 minutes left in the period and started the fourth quarter.
Milwaukee equaled a season worst by losing its third game in a row despite 16 points from Brandon Jennings.
Houston, which remains on the road for eight of its next 10 games, pulled away with a 13-0 run midway through the fourth quarter.
It started with three consecutive 3-pointers. After Patrick Patterson drilled one, Harden made two of them. He was fouled on the first but missed the free throw, and then added another after an offensive rebound by Patterson for a 104-90 lead.
After a layup by Lin, Harden capped the run with two free throws for a 108-90 lead with 4:12 to play.
Milwaukee committed five turnovers during that stretch.
Houston outscored Milwaukee 30-14 in the third quarter and led 77-72 at the start of the fourth.
The Rockets scored 19 of the first 21 points of the period and took a 66-60 lead on a layup by Toney Douglas with 6:19 to play.
Milwaukee opened the quarter with three turnovers in a row and then missed 13 straight field goals. The Bucks shot 20 percent in the quarter.
In the second quarter, a 22-5 run by Milwaukee gave the Bucks an 18-point lead, their largest of the game.
Milwaukee held a 26-25 lead when it scored 10 points in a row, capped by a layup by John Henson for a 35-35 lead with 8:37 remaining.
Another layup and free throw by Henson gave the Bucks a 48-30 advantage with 5:55 to play.
Notes: Houston is 13-2 against the Eastern Conference, including 5-1 on the road . Jennings has sank at least one 3-pointer in 19 straight games and Sanders has blocked at least one shot in the last 18 contests. . The Bucks are 2-8 against the Western Conference, including 1-6 against the Southwest Division.