Harden leads balanced offense as Rockets beat Pelicans

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden scored 20 points and Houston had six in double figures as the Rockets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 120-100 in a preseason game Monday at the Toyota Center.

The Rockets outscored the Pelicans 40-13 in the fourth quarter after trailing by seven after three.

ROCKETS: Trevor Ariza and Ty Lawson had 18 points apiece. Marcus Thornton had 16 off the bench. Clint Capela returned to action from a sore right shoulder. He had 10. Rookie Montrezl Harrell got the start at power forward. He finished with 13.

PELICANS: Ryan Anderson scored 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting. Kendrick Perkins chipped in 10. Jeff Adrien (11) and Bryce Dejean-Jones (10) scored double figures off the bench. Eric Gordon returned to the lineup after sitting the past two games with back spasms. He scored eight.

STAR WATCH: New Orleans’ Anthony Davis was given the night off and did not play Monday. Anderson started in his place.

INJURY REPORT: For the Rockets: Dwight Howard missed a sixth consecutive preseason game with back tightness. Patrick Beverley was out with groin soreness. Terrence Jones was out with a concussion. Corey Brewer missed with a sore toe. Donatas Motiejunas missed again with back pain.

New Orleans’ Tyreke Evans did not play because of a sore right knee. Norris Cole missed with a left ankle sprain.

UP NEXT: Houston travels to San Antonio on Friday for their preseason finale. New Orleans is at Orlando on Wednesday.