Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden scored a career-high 50 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in the Houston Rockets' 118-108 victory over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Harden made four 3-pointers and went 22-of-25 from the foul line for the Rockets, who have won three in a row. Trevor Ariza and Josh Smith tallied 17 and 12 points, respectively.
"I was just one of those nights where he had good energy and he was driving hard," Houston coach Kevin McHale said.
Wilson Chandler and Randy Foye each scored 23 points for the Nuggets, who have dropped two straight following a four-game winning streak. Kenneth Faried contributed 19 points and 12 rebounds.
"He did an unbelievable job of creating and also getting to the free throw line," Foye said of Harden.
The Rockets led by as many as eight in the first quarter before taking a 33-27 advantage into the second.
Ahead 57-48, Houston ended the first half on an 8-1 spurt. Patrick Beverley and Smith made 3-pointers during the flurry to make it 65-49 at the break.
The Rockets closed out the third stanza in similar fashion. Holding an 81-72 margin, Houston went on a 9-1 run. Harden tallied six points during the spurt to make it 90-73.
The Nuggets started the fourth on an 11-2 flurry to make things interesting. They scored six straight points moments later to get within 99-91 with 5:06 to play.
But the Rockets scored the next five points to put the game away.
Terrence Jones and Beverley each scored 10 points for the Rockets, who went 32-of-40 from the foul line ... Ty Lawson had 12 points and 10 assists for the Nuggets .. Each team turned the ball over 16 times.