James Harden put up 41 points, including a go-ahead three late in regulation and eight more points in overtime, to lead the Rockets to a 115-111 win in Denver.
The Rockets offense struggled early as the long shots didn’t fall and the short ones rolled right out. Houston finished the first quarter at 32% from the field.
The Nuggets capitalized with a 17-4 run after Dwight Howard went to the bench, building a 16-point lead thanks to three quick 3-pointers off the bench from Gallinari.
However, the Rockets heated up and went on a 16-6 run over the final 3:40 of the second quarter to only trail by 5 at halftime. James Harden scored 23 first half points on just eight field goal attempts – thanks to 13-15 free throw shooting.
Donatas Motiejunas kept his hot streak going with 18 points including a career-high tying three 3-pointers. He now as a career-long of 8 consecutive games with double-digit points while helping keep the Rockets close in the third quarter.
The Nuggets opened the fourth like the Rockets opened the first, hitting just two of their first thirteen shots as the Rockets claimed the lead thanks to 11 points in the quarter from Dwight Howard. Howard finished with 24 points and 15 rebounds for his ninth double-double in the 12 games he’s played this season.
After the Nuggets rallied back and grabbed a 1-point lead with 21.4 seconds left, James Harden dribbled to the corner, pulled up and drilled the go-ahead three.
On the ensuing play, Harden stole the ball away and was fouled. With victory all but certain, he missed one of his free throws, Denver went the length of the floor and Afflalo heaved a three that sent the game to overtime.
Harden then took over overtime, scoring 8 in the extra frame to give the Rockets the 115-111 win. He finished with 41 points and 10 assists for his sixth double-double of the season (the Rockets have won all six of those games).
The Rockets have no rest as New Orleans is waiting for them at Toyota Center for a game Thursday night.