Rockets 100, Bobcats 94By The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Mon, Jan 21, 2013 4:50 PM EST
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - James Harden scored 29 points, including 10 free throws in the final six minutes, as the Houston Rockets rallied to beat the Charlotte Bobcats 100-94 on Monday afternoon. Harden was just 5-of-20 from the field, but found a way to get to the line and was 19-for-21 from the stripe. He was a perfect 10-of-10 from the line down the stretch, including two with 40.2 seconds left that gave Houston a 98-94 lead, then two more with 7.6 seconds left to seal the victory. The Rockets snapped a seven-game losing streak with the victory and raised their record to 22-21. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with a career-high 35 points, but Charlotte managed only 13 points in the fourth quarter. Houston also got 21 points from Marcus Morris, 16 from Carlos Delfino, and 14 from Chandler Parsons. Ramon Sessions scored 19 for Charlotte but put up an airball on a 3-point attempt in the final minute that helped seal the Bobcats' fate. Hakim Warrick scored 10 points. The Bobcats got off to a rare fast start and led by as many as 12 in the first quarter. They led 56-45 at halftime behind Walker's 17 first-half points. The Rockets fought back and got cut the margin to one on two separate occasions in the third quarter, but two Walker 3-pointers led an 8-0 Charlotte run, and the Bobcats pushed the lead back to 81-74 after three quarters. Houston finally caught up and took its first lead at 84-83 on a steal and dunk by Harden with 8:01 remaining. The lead seesawed from there until Delfino's 3-pointer with 1:54 left gave Houston the lead for good at 96-94. Notes: Gerald Henderson started for the Bobcats after being a "game-time decision" because of lingering back problems. Henderson recently revealed that he has had a bulging disk in his back since his college days at Duke. ... Monday's game closed out a stretch in which the Rockets played seven of eight games on the road and nine of 11. They will now head home to play Denver on Wednesday night. After that comes another difficult stretch with seven of the following 11 on the road. ... The Rockets and Bobcats will meet again in Houston on Feb. 2. ... Harden came into the game fifth in the NBA in scoring at 25.8. Omer Asik was fourth in the league in rebounds at 11.0, and Jeremy Lin was third in the league in steals at 2.00. ... The Rockets had won five straight and 10 of their previous 12 before this losing streak started. ... The Rockets were without Greg Smith, who was not with the team because of family matters. Royce White has been suspended since Jan. 6 and no resolution seems to be on the horizon. ... The Bobcats were playing the second game of a four-game homestand. They'll remain home to play Atlanta on Wednesday night and Minnesota on Saturday night. ... Byron Mullens missed his 14th straight game for the Bobcats with a sprained left ankle and coach Mike Dunlap said Mullens' return was "a long way away." ... Walker came into the game leading the Bobcats in scoring (17.4), assists (5.8) and steals (1.9), making him one of five players around the league to lead their teams in all three categories.
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