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harden's 28 help rockets rally for 99-90 win over heat


houston — chris paul wasn't thrilled with how the houston rockets played monday night.the veteran was perfectly happy with the outcome though.james harden scored 28 points and the rockets overcame a big early deficit to beat the miami heat 99-90."you have those games during the season where (you) win the game and move on ... out of 82 of them sometimes it's going to be ugly, but you just want to win," paul said.miami led by double digits before halftime, but the game stayed close throughout most of the second half. it was tied with about three minutes left when harden hit a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired. that was the start of a 7-2 run that made it 95-90 with 38 seconds left.james johnson missed a 3-pointer on the other end, but miami's hassan whiteside grabbed the rebound.






rockets sign harden to $228 million deal, nba’s richest


las vegas (ap) — the houston rockets have signed star guard james harden to a four-year, $228 million contract extension, the richest contract in nba history.the rockets said saturday the extension will run through 2022-23 season but will not kick in until 2019. that means it will not affect their salary cap this season, so the rockets are free to continue their roster upgrade. they added chris paul earlier this summer.rockets owner leslie alexander says harden’s “incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best” make him “the perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship.” harden says “houston is home for me.”he averaged 29.1 points and led the nba with 11.2 assists last season.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.espn first reported the terms






harden helps rockets beat nets 117-103


houston — after rolling through the first quarter and building a sizeable lead over the brooklyn nets, james harden said the houston rockets' momentum was interrupted by something they hadn't seen in a long time — a zone defense.in houston's 117-103 win over brooklyn, harden scored 20 of his 37 points in the first quarter. when he took a break with 1:28 remaining in the first quarter, he was outscoring the nets 20-17 by himself, not to mention four assists at that point. he was 5-for-5 from 3-point range in the first quarter and finished 8-for-13.but when brooklyn went to a zone defense for the first time all season, harden said the rockets had to make adjustments."they went zone, and it kind of threw us for a loop," harden said. "we weren't making shots. that zone kind of messed us up a l






harden lifts rockets to 111-96 win over grizzlies


houston — after beating houston in the first two meetings this season, memphis grizzlies coach david fizdale said he expected the rockets to come out swinging on saturday night.sure enough, the rockets jumped out to a 9-0 lead by draining three straight 3s in the first two minutes of the game and never looked back in their 111-96 win over memphis.james harden scored 38 points, and houston hit 16 of 45 (35.6 percent) from beyond the arc, including 6 of 14 from harden, who added eight assists and four rebounds. eric gordon added 26 points on 6 of 11 3-point shooting for houston."they had an edge tonight, which i expected," fizdale said. "they've got pride over there, and we had them 2-0 in the season series. we really expected them to come out hitting hard, but boy, they are tough when they'






harden's 38 points lead rockets over pelicans 117-107


houston — after winning just 41 games in last year's disappointing season, the houston rockets acknowledged their 50th win on friday night.however, they weren't celebrating it."sixty would be nice," coach mike d'antoni said smiling. "we may celebrate that one. but not 50."it's probably unlikely with just 10 regular-season games left, so for now the rockets are simply focused on improving before the postseason begins.james harden scored 38 points, including eight down the stretch, and tied a career high with 17 assists to help the rockets pull away for a 117-107 victory over the new orleans pelicans."we got stops when we needed to, scored when we needed to and put the game away," harden said.the pelicans had scored seven points in a row, capped by a 3-pointer from demarcus cousins, to cut t






nba: rockets rally for 10th consecutive win


clint capela had a career-high 28 points and james harden scored 12 straight points for houston in the fourth quarter as the rockets rallied for a 130-123 victory over the visiting new orleans pelicans on monday to extend their winning streak to 10 games.the score was tied with about three minutes remaining after harden made two free throws. those were the first of seven straight points by harden that put houston up 124-119 with 1:30 left.at chicago 108, boston 85: nikola mirotic scored 24 points, bobby portis added a career-high 23 and the bulls blew out boston with celtics star kyrie irving out because of a bruised left quadriceps.at golden state 111, portland 104: kevin durant had 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots, leading the short-handed warriors past the






rockets sign harden to $228 million deal, nba's richest


las vegas — the beard has the richest contract in nba history.the houston rockets signed guard james harden to a four-year, $228 million contract extension saturday. the extension will run through the 2022-23 season. but with harden under contract on his existing deal for another two seasons, it will not affect houston's aggressive pursuit of free agents this summer as the rockets try to make a run at the golden state warriors."since he arrived in houston, james has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game," rockets owner leslie alexander said in a statement issued by the team. "additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the city of houston,






in a year, james harden has evolved from malcontent to mvp favorite


less than a year ago, james harden was in the midst of a crisis borne from his reputation.the runner-up to stephen curry in the chase for the nba's most valuable player award in 2015, harden didn't even place on an all-nba team in 2016 after he and dwight howard spent the year feuding with one another. the houston rockets fired coach kevin mchale early in the season and the rockets eventually limped out of the playoffs in a largely noncompetitive first-round loss to curry's golden state warriors after scraping their way to the western conference's eighth seed.a year later, the rockets find themselves in a very different place. after falling to the portland trail blazers, 117-107, on thursday night, the rockets traveled to oakland for friday's final showdown of the regular season with the w






james harden himself can't explain his awful performance in rockets' loss


james harden had trouble explaining his 10-point showing in the rockets' embarrassing loss.        






ex-rockets coach kevin mchale: james harden is 'not a leader'


kevin mchale, who coached james harden for three full seasons with the houston rockets, says leadership is not part of harden's 'personality.'        






whiteside helps heat beat rockets 117-109


houston — hassan whiteside had 23 points, 14 rebounds and five blocks to help the miami heat beat the houston rockets 117-109 on wednesday night.dion waiters added 23 points, nine rebounds and seven assists, and goran dragic had 21 points for the heat, who ended a two-game skid that followed a 13-game win streak. miami got back to winning by defeating the same team where that long winning streak started jan. 17.james harden had 38 points 12 rebounds and 12 assists for his 15th triple-double of the season to lead the rockets, who lost for the second time in seven games.miami shot 13 for 35 on 3-pointers, while houston was 13 for 40.the rockets' defense struggled without guard patrick beverley, who suffered a strained groin early in the second quarter. his backup, corey brewer, played 27 min






nba: harden pens $160m contract extension with rockets | usa news


the houston rockets have signed star guard james harden to a four-year, $160m contract extension, giving him the richest contract in nba history at $228m over six years.the rockets said on saturday that the extension will run through 2022-23 season but will not kick in until 2019. "it's my pleasure to announce we've reached agreement with james harden on a long term contract extension," houston rockets owner leslie alexander said in a statement. he added that harden's "incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best" make him "the perfect leader in our pursuit of another championship".this year's runner-up to russell westbrook for the nba's mvp title, harden has two years and nearly $60m left on his current contract with the rockets. "since he arrived in houston, james has






james harden signs extension with rockets, giving him richest nba deal ever – th


las vegas  — the beard has the richest contract in nba history.the houston rockets signed guard james harden to a four-year contract extension for about $160 million saturday, giving him a total six-year deal with $228 million guaranteed. with harden under contract on his existing deal for another two seasons, the extension will not affect houston’s aggressive pursuit of free agents this summer as the rockets try to make a run at the golden state warriors.“since he arrived in houston, james has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game,” rockets owner leslie alexander said in a statement issued by the team. “additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organi






the rockets have james harden, got chris paul and you can bet daryl morey wants


throughout daryl morey’s tenure as general manager of the houston rockets, he’s abided by a clear, simple game plan: collect talent, and figure out the rest.the rockets have plenty of figuring out to do.there’s little doubt the trade morey pulled off wednesday – moving guards patrick beverley and lou williams, forwards sam dekker and montrezl harrell, a protected 2018 first-round pick and some still-being-collected non-guaranteed salaries, to the los angeles clippers for superstar point guard chris paul as sources confirmed to the washington post – is a coup for morey and the rockets. the move will pair paul with james harden to form one of the most lethal partnerships in the nba.but in making the move, morey is pushing his game plan to the limit, as the fit between paul and harden, betwee






harden signs extension, giving him richest nba deal ever


las vegas — the beard has the richest contract in nba history.the houston rockets signed guard james harden to a four-year contract extension for about $160 million saturday, giving him a total six-year deal with $228 million guaranteed. with harden under contract on his existing deal for another two seasons, the extension will not affect houston's aggressive pursuit of free agents this summer as the rockets try to make a run at the golden state warriors."since he arrived in houston, james has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game," rockets owner leslie alexander said in a statement issued by the team. "additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organiz






james harden signs $228-million extension, giving him richest nba deal ever


the beard has the richest contract in nba history.the houston rockets signed guard james harden to a four-year contract extension for about $160 million saturday, giving him a total six-year deal with $228 million guaranteed. with harden under contract on his existing deal for another two seasons, the extension will not affect houston's aggressive pursuit of free agents this summer as the rockets try to make a run at the golden state warriors."since he arrived in houston, james has exhibited the incredible work ethic, desire to win, and passion to be the best that has made him one of the most unique and talented superstars in the history of the game," rockets owner leslie alexander said in a statement issued by the team. "additionally, the commitment he has shown to our organization, the c






jazz win fourth straight with 115-108 victory over rockets


houston — utah coach quin snyder liked his team's performance on wednesday night against the houston rockets.however, he thinks another factor may have been just as important in the victory."a lot of times you just have to be fortunate against a team that's that good," he said. "we were lucky tonight."rudy gobert and gordon hayward each scored 23 points to help the jazz beat the rockets 115-108 for their fourth straight victory.james harden had 35 points for the rockets, who have lost two straight for just the third time this season.the rockets trailed by double digits for much of the game as they struggled from 3-point range. houston was just 8 of 32 to end a streak of 18 straight games with at least 10 3-pointers.harden had an especially tough time from long range, missing all eight of h






happy harden has houston rockets surging toward postseason


houston (ap) — ask james harden about how happy he is running coach mike d’antoni’s offense and a smile spreads across his face before the sentence is done.harden has shaken off the disappointment of last season to thrive under d’antoni and become a leading candidate for league mvp. his performance has the houston rockets thinking this could be the year they contend for a title.the rockets are third in the western conference with less than a month left in the regular season and on the cusp of securing their fifth straight playoff berth.“we’re all in a good place right now and we’re for each other,” harden said. “so just ride this momentum into the postseason.”most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.harden knew all about what d’antoni did with the phoenix suns teams led by






james harden leads rockets past mavericks, 107-91


houston — james harden and houston rockets coach mike d'antoni stressed saturday night the importance of establishing a consistent defensive presence.harden scored 29 points to lead the rockets to a 107-91 victory over the dallas mavericks in the team's home opener on saturday night.while houston's hot shooting certainly helped, holding the mavericks to 20 points or less in each of the first three quarters gave the rockets plenty of breathing room."from the beginning of the game, defensively, we were locked in, and offensively, we made shots," harden said. "that's going to be our blueprint is making shots."the rockets were 18-0 when holding opponents to less than 100 points last season. through the first three games, they're allowing 104.0 points per game, down from an average of 109.6 poi






rockets, without harden, send suns to 12th straight loss


phoenix — patrick beverley knew much more would be expected of him with his houston rockets missing james harden on sunday night.that motivated the veteran guard to play well, which beverley did in the rockets' 123-116 win over the phoenix suns.beverley scored a career-high 26 points and the rockets sent the suns to their 12th straight loss without harden in the lineup. harden was ruled out with acute viral syndrome, the team announced before the game. he had not missed a game all season and entered sunday tied for second in the league in scoring at 29.2 points per game."coach walked up to me (and said), 'we need a triple-double out of you tonight," beverley said of the conversation with rockets coach mike d'antoni, who told him harden was out. "i know i'm not even close to what james hard






james harden, rockets rout spurs in game 4, tie series at 2-2


harden had 28 points, 12 assists and five rebounds in the win.        






harden has 37 points; rockets rout thunder, westbrook 118-87


houston — although james harden is houston's undisputed star, he can't top russell westbrook entirely on his own.as is so often the case, patrick beverley was there for support sunday night.harden scored 37 points to outshine westbrook, and the rockets pulled away in the third quarter and coasted to a 118-87 victory over the oklahoma city thunder in game 1 of their first-round playoff series.harden had nine assists and seven rebounds, and beverley, who had the unenviable task of guarding westbrook, had a playoff career-best 21 points along with 10 rebounds.beverley's performance was nothing new to harden, who has had a front row seat to his work for years."that's the reason we're in the position we're in," harden said. "he brings it every game. whether his shot is falling or not, he brings






happy harden has houston rockets surging toward postseason


houston — ask james harden about how happy he is running coach mike d'antoni's offense and a smile spreads across his face before the sentence is done.harden has shaken off the disappointment of last season to thrive under d'antoni and become a leading candidate for league mvp. his performance has the houston rockets thinking this could be the year they contend for a title.the rockets are third in the western conference with less than a month left in the regular season and on the cusp of securing their fifth straight playoff berth."we're all in a good place right now and we're for each other," harden said. "so just ride this momentum into the postseason."harden knew all about what d'antoni did with the phoenix suns teams led by steve nash, and couldn't wait to see how his up-tempo offense






houston's harden out at least 2 weeks with hamstring injury


houston — rockets star james harden will miss at least two weeks with a left hamstring strain.the team announced monday that the nba's leading scorer has a grade 2 strain and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.harden was injured on a missed layup late in the fourth quarter of houston's 148-142 double-overtime win against the los angeles lakers on sunday night. he said after the game that he didn't think the injury was serious, but the guard was walking with a pronounced limp.the rockets have the second-best record in the western conference behind golden state at 26-9, and harden leads the nba with his scoring average of 32.3 points per game. he also is averaging 9.1 assists, ranking third in the league.harden, who has played every game this season, has been extremely durable during his care






jazz win fourth straight with 115-108 victory over rockets


houston — rudy gobert and gordon hayward each scored 23 points to help the utah jazz beat the houston rockets 115-108 on wednesday night for their fourth straight victory.james harden had 35 points for the rockets, who dropped their second in a row.the rockets trailed by double digits for much of the game as they struggled from 3-point range. houston was just 8 of 32 to end a streak of 18 straight games with at least 10 3-pointers.a pair of free throws by harden cut utah's lead to four with less than two minutes remaining, but joe johnson hit a 3-pointer just before the shot clock expired on the other end to make it 110-103.three more free throws by harden kept houston in it, but patrick beverley missed a layup after a steal by eric gordon, and gobert put it away with a layup that made it






james harden has 37 points, rockets rout thunder


by kristie riekenhouston (ap) — although james harden is houston’s undisputed star, he can’t top russell westbrook entirely on his own.as is so often the case, patrick beverley was there for support sunday night.harden scored 37 points to outshine westbrook, and the rockets pulled away in the third quarter and coasted to a 118-87 victory over the oklahoma city thunder in game 1 of their first-round playoff series.harden had nine assists and seven rebounds, and beverley, who had the unenviable task of guarding westbrook, had a playoff career-best 21 points along with 10 rebounds.beverley’s performance was nothing new to harden, who has had a front row seat to his work for years.“that’s the reason we’re in the position we’re in,” harden said. “he brings it every game. whether his shot is fal






harden has 40 in triple-double, rockets top nuggets 109-105


denver — james harden scored 40 points and finished with a triple-double as the houston rockets snapped the denver nuggets' four-game winning streak with a 109-105 victory saturday night.harden, who shook off a hard fall in the third quarter, had 10 rebounds and 10 assists.with his team trailing 107-105, nuggets guard will barton missed a 3-pointer and a layup in the final 30 seconds.after barton's errant 3-point attempt, harden missed at the other end and nikola jokic corralled the rebound. but then barton missed a layup that would have tied it with about five seconds left, and harden drew a foul. he sank both free throws to reach 40 points for the second time in two nights.the nuggets missed five three throws late in the game, including two by barton.nene, who played the first decade of






harden, rockets score 90 in 1st half and rout suns 142-116


phoenix — james harden looked up at the halftime totals thursday night and couldn't believe what he saw, despite how well he and the houston rockets had shot the ball."i thought there was something wrong with the score," he said.there wasn't. harden scored 23 of his 48 points in the second quarter and the rockets put up 90 in the first half on the way to a 142-116 rout of the phoenix suns.houston dominated with chris paul back in the lineup after he missed 14 games because of a knee injury. the rockets made 61 percent of their first-half shots to match the second-most points in a first half in nba history."everybody was psyched up to get chris back," rockets coach mike d'antoni said. "just one of those nights where we played well offensively. ... chris played really well."houston finished






harden's triple-double helps rockets top cavs 117-112


houston — james harden and the houston rockets have shown at times this season that they could be title contenders. lately, however, they've failed to rise to the occasion against the nba's elite.that changed on sunday night when harden had a triple-double of 38 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to outduel fellow mvp candidate lebron james and lead the rockets to a 117-112 win over the cleveland cavaliers."we beat golden state. we beat san antonio, but that was earlier," rockets coach mike d'antoni said. "we haven't had one (recently), so this was good. this will give us a little boost."the rockets were up by six when nene made a layup before intercepting a bad pass by james. patrick beverley made a 3-pointer on the other end to push the lead to 116-107 with less than two minutes left.kyr






nba: russell westbrook scores 51, to no avail as thunder falls to rockets


russell westbrook put up gaudy numbers wednesday night — 51 points, for example.the houston rockets got a more modest performance from james harden, but a collective scoring effort helped them rally for a 115-111 win at home over the oklahoma city thunder to take a 2-0 lead in a first-round western conference playoff series. “it wasn’t pretty,” harden said. “we didn’t make a lot of shots. we gave them the early lead and we had to fight our way back and we did.” harden scored 35 points and the rockets overcame westbrook, who had the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history. westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds.but he shot just four for 18 in the fourth quarter and the rockets clawed back from a double-digit deficit. he was not in the






nba: russell westbrook scores 51, to no avail as thunder falls to rockets


russell westbrook put up gaudy numbers wednesday night — 51 points, for example.the houston rockets got a more modest performance from james harden, but a collective scoring effort helped them rally for a 115-111 win at home over the oklahoma city thunder to take a 2-0 lead in a first-round western conference playoff series.“it wasn’t pretty,” harden said. “we didn’t make a lot of shots. we gave them the early lead and we had to fight our way back and we did.”harden scored 35 points and the rockets overcame westbrook, who had the highest-scoring triple-double in playoff history. westbrook set a franchise playoff scoring record and added 13 assists and 10 rebounds.but he shot just four for 18 in the fourth quarter and the rockets clawed back from a double-digit deficit.he was not in the moo






harden scores 26, rockets hit 20 3s to beat clippers 122-103


los angeles — when the houston rockets get going the way they did wednesday night, all those 3-pointers become a blur.james harden scored 26 points and the rockets hit 20 of their first 39 attempts from beyond the arc in a 122-103 victory over the los angeles clippers.houston opened a 31-point lead early in the fourth quarter, so it didn't even matter that the rockets missed their last 13 tries from 3-point range."you don't really realize how many we are taking until you hear later because it's so naturally the way we play," said ryan anderson, who had 23 points and a team-high six 3s. "it's fun basketball when you trust the next guy to give up the shot and make the right play to get the open look."trailing 44-43 with 8:56 left in the second quarter, the rockets outscored los angeles 66-34






rockets rain down threes to defeat wolves


houston – newly hired rockets general manager daryl morey arrived with his massachusetts institute of technology education about the time tom thibodeau and his boss jeff van gundy were told to leave a decade ago.in the years that passed, neither thibodeau nor new houston coach mike d'antoni could have imagined how simple mathematics and the revelation that three is more than two would change the rockets or the nba.the rockets' 142-130 victory over the timberwolves saturday night, though, told the story as well as anything.in a league now where a high-percentage layup is good and a three-pointer is much better, the rockets attempted 58 three-pointers saturday, three away from their franchise record of 61.they sent the rockets and mvp candidate james harden on to a 42-18 record, the league's






harden has 37 points, rockets rout thunder, westbrook 118-87


houston — james harden scored 37 points to outshine russell westbrook and the houston rockets pulled away in the third quarter and coasted to a 118-87 victory over the oklahoma city thunder on sunday night in game 1 of their first-round playoff series.the best-of-seven western conference series continues wednesday night in houston.the third-seeded rockets were up by 20 when harden came off the bench with about seven minutes remaining. he went right to work — making two 3-pointers to power 10-0 run and push the lead to 110-80 with 4 1/2 minutes left. harden, who along with westbrook is a front-runner for mvp, went to the bench after that and both teams cleared their benches soon after that.westbrook had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but made just six of 23 shots and had nine tur






williams, harden send rockets to 139-100 win over lakers


houston — lou williams scored 30 points against his former team and james harden had his 17th triple-double of the season to lead the houston rockets over the los angeles lakers 139-100 on wednesday night.harden had 18 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds as houston handed the lakers their 11th loss in 12 games.williams broke out of a recent shooting slump against his ex-teammates. houston sent corey brewer and a first-round draft pick to los angeles in a trade for williams three weeks ago.the deal paid off for the rockets on wednesday night as williams went 7 for 9 from beyond the arc and made his first seven field goal attempts, including four straight 3-pointers.meanwhile, brewer had four points in 21 minutes.






houston’s harden out at least 2 weeks with hamstring injury


houston (ap) — rockets star james harden will miss at least two weeks with a left hamstring strain.the team announced monday that the nba’s leading scorer has a grade 2 strain and will be re-evaluated in two weeks.harden was injured on a missed layup late in the fourth quarter of houston’s 148-142 double-overtime win against the los angeles lakers on sunday night. he said after the game that he didn’t think the injury was serious, but the guard was walking with a pronounced limp.the rockets have the second-best record in the western conference behind golden state at 26-9, and harden leads the nba with his scoring average of 32.3 points per game. he also is averaging 9.1 assists, ranking third in the league.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.harden, who has played eve






would-be actors, pint-sized, line up for shot at spielberg movie


alyssa pointer / chicago tribunetracy hernandez, left, talks with her nephew, santino 'sunny' steiner, 7, as they wait in line in order for santino to audition for an upcoming steven spielberg movie.tracy hernandez, left, talks with her nephew, santino 'sunny' steiner, 7, as they wait in line in order for santino to audition for an upcoming steven spielberg movie. (alyssa pointer / chicago tribune)