Rockets had three players with more than 20 points tonight. Harden: "When we make the extra pass, everybody eats."
FINAL: Rockets 95, Pelicans 93. Big win for present and future! Successful return for Dwight, but Harden, Ariza, D-Mo truly shine tonight.
Harden misses first. After he makes the second free throw for 3-point lead, Pels use last time out. Rockets can foul after inbounds.
Harden makes the second- Rockets lead 95-92 with 3.3 on the clock. Pelicans ball.
Harden makes just 1-2 at the line. Rockets up three, Pelicans will have 3.3 seconds left to go for the tie.
Harden missed the first.
Jason Terry dribbles 3.4 off the clock before fouled. Harden going to line to ice it with 3.3 left.
Harden fouled with 3.3 on the clock and he will head to the foul line. He is 5/7 from there tonight.
Key possession after TO, Rockets post-up D-Mo. He's been terrific, but comes up empty. Up 3, Harden misses a 3. Davis to line, 7.8 left.
Rockets with at least three players over 20 points, Harden, Motiejunas and Ariza.
Howard starting fourth quarter. Key stretch here, with Rockets up eight, but Harden sitting, Davis is in for Pels.
Harden exploded for 10 points, 6 dimes in 3Q, now has 22-10. Ariza has been incredible, now at 20-8r-3a and a pair of steals. 78-70 HOU.
Harden now has 16 games with double digit assists.
With 1:01 left in third, Harden with 20p, 10a, his 19th double-double of the season.
Anthony Davis is one of the rare guys who can make Harden pull back from going downhill in transition.
Bad off-the-ball def by Evans there. No mans land. Not doubling Harden, but away from his one who was one pass away. 3 for Ariza. -CR
Ariza pops a 3 thanks to a Harden pass. He's got 15. Harden with seven assists.
Harden has only been to the line four times tonight.
Now a crossover and a layup for Mr. Harden. He's got 18.
Oh my goodness James Harden. A one-handed jam. It was nasty.
HALF: Pelicans 52, Rockets 49. Houston trailed by 17 in 2Q and came roaring back behind Ariza (9-5-3), D-Mo (10-6) and Harden (12-4-4).
Rockets trail, 52-49, at halftime. A solid defensive effort and ball spacing in the second quarter by the visitors. Harden has 12, DMo 10-6.
Beautiful drive by Harden and the Rockets are down one.
James Harden gathering the troops together with Dwight Howard offering support during timeout.
Rockets going with their small lineup with Harden in for Smith. Ariza on Anthony Davis.
James Harden is heading back in for the Rockets. Will replace Smith, who is playing on a sprained ankle and looks like he could use a break.
Harden comes in for Smith who walks off slowly.
Pelicans' defensive pressure definitely making impact on Rockets- James Harden has took only four shots after 12 minutes.
As expected, Rockets switch to a lineup with no point guard, playing Brewer, Ariza, Harden together. Ariza picks up Evans.
Pelicans applying trap on James Harden.
Pelicans lead 17-10 with 5:51 in the first quarter. Harden has 4. Howard, Motiejunas and Ariza have 2 apiece.
Well, Howard didn't look rusty above the rim. Harden with a pass inside. Howard with a power slam.
In his first game back, Dwight Howard takes a pass from James Harden and makes a one-handed dunk.
Eric Gordon makes smart play on perimeter draws foul on James Harden.