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Sport James Harden and Russell Westbrook take over fourth quarter to lead Houston Rockets past Phoenix Suns

07:30  08 december  2019
07:30  08 december  2019 Source:   sportingnews.com

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James Harden and Russell Westbrook look for continued brilliance against the Phoenix Suns , this time as teammates, when the Houston Rockets open The Rockets have won three of four , with the only loss being the controversial overtime defeat at San Antonio that Houston has protested over a

James Edward Harden Jr. (born August 26, 1989) is an American professional basketball player for the Houston Rockets of the National Basketball Association (NBA).

a group of basketball players© (NBA Getty Images)

The Houston Rockets seem to be gaining momentum once again.

If it wasn't for their controversial double-overtime loss to the San Antonio Spurs, today's 115-109 win over the Phoenix Suns could have been their fifth consecutive after they lost three straight before Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, the Suns continue to be inconsistent after a positive 7-4 start to the season.

Here's a look at the biggest takeaways from this home win over the Suns:

Harden, Russ take over in the 4th

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Rockets led the Suns by five points and the hosts kept the visitors at bay behind the superstar duo in the final period.

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Forward Ben McLemore led Houston with a season-high 28 points and Russell Westbrook The Raptors briefly edged ahead in the third, but the Rockets responded and never trailed in the fourth . Suns center Frank Kaminsky scored six points and Ricky Rubio added four in overtime as Phoenix

James Harden 's and Russell Westbrook 's dominant, yet differing styles further stirred the MVP debate in Thursday night's thriller. Or do you prefer Harden , who has perfected his skills as a maestro so well that Houston is a surprise top-three team in the West ?

James Harden and Russell Westbrook scored 28 of the team's 32 fourth-quarter points for the team's fourth win in the last five games. In fact, over a five-minutes period, Harden outscored the Suns 17-10 when he scored 17 straight points for the Rockets.

Harden scored 18 of his 34 points in the final quarter while also recording six rebounds, four assists, and three steals on a rough 8-of-27 (29.6%) shooting game. On the other hand, Russell Westbrook recorded his third straight triple-double, finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.

2nd straight big game for Ben McLemore

Against the Suns, Ben McLemore proved that his performance in Toronto against the defending champions was no flash in the pan.

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Latest on Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook including news, stats, videos The substandard shooting has been a theme of the 31-year-old's season thus far, currently shooting at his lowest percentages in over 10 years (41 George had no doubt Harden - Russ pairing would work.

Russell Westbrook took over the assignment, likely to just spell George until he could return. He fought over every screen, jumped passing lanes and frustrated Harden . It sparked a 9-0 run for the The Rockets are one of the most dangerous teams in the league when it comes to getting to the free

He dropped 28 while knocking down eight 3-pointers against the Raptors. Today, against the Suns, he backed that up with a 27-point performancce which included seven 3-pointers.

The 26-year old has come off the bench in all of the Rockets' 22 games. In the season so far, he has recorded five 20+ point performance and three of those have come in the last four games.

Booker shines again but gets no support

After dropping 44 a couple of days back, Devin Booker dropped an efficient 35 (11-19 FG's) against the Rockets but didn't receive much support.

The Suns had four other players who finished in double figures with Kelly Oubre Jr. leading the way with 19 points.

However, their key starters had a rough shooting night - Oubre Jr. (7-18 FG's; 1-6 3P), Ricky Rubio (5-16 FG's). Rubio, Oubre Jr. and Mikal Bridges combined for 10 of the team's 15 turnovers while Booker only committed one turnover in 37 minutes on the court.

The Suns have gone 3-8 in their 11 games after a hot start. They have a chance to get their record back around .500 with a few winnable games (including playing the San Antonio Spurs in Mexico City) coming up before they face the LA Clippers in ten days.

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