James Harden scores 29 to lead Rockets past Blazers 111-104

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Houston Rockets' James Harden drives past Portland Trail Blazers' CJ McCollum during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018, in Houston.

HOUSTON - James Harden had 29 points and seven Rockets scored in double-figures as Houston used a big second-half run and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 111-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.

Clint Capela added 13 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with five minutes left, and Eric Gordon, who started in place of James Ennis, had 14 points for the Rockets, who shot 49 percent from the field.

Houston's bench played a key role in a 24-6 first-half run that erased a 15-point deficit, and then led a charge in the second half. Gerald Green had 13 points, and Danuel House had 12 off the bench.

Damian Lillard had 34 points, CJ McCollum scored 22 points and Jusuf Nurkic added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Portland, which shot 44 percent after starting the game by making seven of its first nine shots.

Houston used a 25-5 run to end the third and start the fourth quarters, and opened a 100-83 lead on 3-pointer by Harden with 6:48 left. House and Green each had five points in the run.

The Blazers responded with a 14-2 run and cut the lead to 102-97 when Nurkic made a pair of free throws with three minutes left.

After trading baskets, Houston pushed the lead to 107-99 on a free throw by Harden and two free throws by Chris Paul. After Lillard missed a layup, Paul hit two more free throws to push the lead back to 10 points with 1:38 left. Portland got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: Al-Farouq Aminu had 10 points and 15 rebounds. Portland shot 17 of 21 from the free throw line. The Blazers shot 10 of 25 from 3-point range.

Rockets: Houston's bench outscored Portland's 37-13. Nene had 10 points. Paul had 11 points. The Rockets shot 18 of 27 from the free-throw line. Coach Mike D'Antoni said Brandon Knight (knee) could see playing time early next week. Ennis left the game with a strained right hamstring.

CLEAN UP ON THE FLOOR

PJ Tucker dove for a loose ball during the second quarter, landing in front of Houston Astros third baseman Alex Bregman and Astros owner Jim Crane, who were seated courtside, and splashing their drinks on them. Bregman and Crane were given towels to help dry off.

UP NEXT

Trail Blazers: Travels to Memphis on Wednesday.

Rockets: Host the Lakers on Thursday.

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