Harden has triple-double in Houston return, Nets roll over Rockets

NBA

Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) is defended by Houston Rockets guard Victor Oladipo (7) and Houston Rockets forward P.J. Tucker (17) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 3, 2021, in Houston. (Mark Mulligan/Houston Chronicle via AP)

HOUSTON —

James Harden had a triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists in the first meeting with his former Houston teammates and the Brooklyn Nets won 132-114 on Wednesday night to hand the Rockets their 13th straight loss.

The Nets set a franchise record with their seventh straight road victory and have won 10 of their last 11 overall.

It’s the longest skid for the Rockets, who had just eight players available because of injuries, since they dropped 15 in a row in 2001. They’ve had a tough time since Harden was traded Jan. 14 and haven’t won since Feb. 4.

The Rockets used a 10-0 run, with five points from John Wall, to cut the lead to eight with about eight minutes left in the fourth. But the Nets scored the next eight points, with two 3s from Harden, to extend it to 113-97 midway through the quarter.

It’s the eighth triple-double for Harden this season and his second straight after he had 30 points, 14 rebounds and 15 assists without a turnover in an overtime victory at San Antonio on Monday night. He didn’t play as clean of a game Wednesday when he had eight turnovers.

Harden got a mixed reception from the crowd. Many of the 3,615 fans booed when he was introduced before the game and more boos came the first few times he touched the ball.

The Rockets played a video showcasing some of the countless highlights of his eight seasons in Houston during a timeout in the first quarter. There were more cheers than boos as it played. Harden stepped out of the huddle and raised his arms before placing his hands in a praying position to acknowledge the fans as it ended.

Wall had a season-high 36 points, and Victor Oladipo also set his season high with 33.

The Nets used an 8-0 run, with five points from Bruce Brown, to extend it to 82-59 with about 7 1/2 minutes left in the third.

Oladipo got hot for Houston after that, scoring 11 points during a 14-5 run that got the Rockets within 87-73.

Harden made the next four points before Houston used a 7-0 run to get within 90-80 with 2 ½ minutes left in the third.

Brooklyn wrapped up the quarter with an 11-5 spurt to make it 101-85 entering the fourth.

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