Harden outscores Giannis, Bucks fall in Houston
HOUSTON — James Harden had 38 points, eight assists and six rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Milwaukee Bucks 111-92 on Wednesday night.
Harden drilled a straightaway 3-pointer with six minutes left to give Houston a 13-point lead and shimmied his shoulders down the court in a celebratory dance as the Bucks called timeout.
After losing three of four, the Rockets regained their form while improving to 17-4 at home this season.
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 32 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for Milwaukee, which struggled to score in the first half. Jabari Parker scored 15 points on 5-for-15 shooting, and reserve Michael Beasley had 14 points and eight boards.
Antetokounmpo was visibly frustrated after he was called for goaltending on a chase-down block of Harden as the game slipped out of hand late in the fourth quarter.
Houston shooting guard Eric Gordon recaptured his touch after struggling from the field while playing on a tweaked ankle in the Rockets’ 109-103 loss in Miami on Tuesday night. Gordon went 7 for 17 from the 3-point range and finished with 25 points.
The Rockets played without sharp-shooting power forward Ryan Anderson, who was sidelined by the flu for the second straight game. They missed his long-range presence, going 4 for 20 from beyond the arc in the first half before finishing 14 for 44.
Milwaukee had a five-point lead at the end of the first quarter, but Houston clamped down defensively in the second, allowing just 12 points. The Rockets allowed a season-low 39 first-half points and led by 13 at the break.
Bucks: Greg Monroe and Rockets C Nene each received a technical after they tangled on a rebound late in the third quarter. Monroe never re-entered the game. … Parker also had seven rebounds.
Rockets: In Anderson’s absence, Trevor Ariza moved from small forward to power forward, and Corey Brewer started in his place. Ariza and Brewer combined for just seven points but played critical roles on the defensive end.
Wizards: Visit Orlando on Friday night.
Rockets: Host Golden State on Friday night.