Sacramento, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - James Harden put the Houston Rockets on his back and willed them to an overtime victory on Thursday.
Harden scored a season-high 44 points to lead the Rockets in a 113-109 decision over the Sacramento Kings.
Harden, who scored 34 points in a loss to Golden State on Wednesday, sent the game to overtime with a deep 3-pointer, then scored the first 10 Houston points in the extra session.
"That was definitely a tough game. Those guys on the other side definitely fought hard. We had the same energy," Harden said. "We fought through it."
Trevor Ariza and Patrick Beverley each netted 15 points and Donatas Motiejunas added 14 points for Houston, which has won five of its last six.
Darren Collison had 24 points with seven assists and Ben McLemore tallied 21 points for the Kings.
Harden fueled the Rockets comeback in regulation and continued in the extra session as he opened with seven straight points to give the Rockets a 102-95 lead with 3 1/2 minutes to play.
The Houston offense ran through Harden in the overtime period. He slashed through the lane for a layup following a free throw from Jason Thompson, then split a pair of free throws to extend the lead to nine.
"(Harden) made shots when he needed to," Kings forward Rudy Gay said. "He played great."
Gay trimmed the deficit to six with a 3-pointer, but Harden drove on two defenders and skipped a pass over to Beverley, who nailed a corner 3 with 45.3 seconds left.
Beverley missed 3-of-4 free throws down the stretch that allowed the Kings to hang around as Nik Stauskas' trey made it a three-point game. Collison buried a 3 following a pair of free throws from Jason Terry, but Harden closed his evening with two free throws to account for the final margin.
The Rockets trailed by as many as 10 in the fourth. Harden tied the game at 88-88 with a tough dunk through traffic with 2 1/2 minutes left.
Each team traded a basket before Gay drove and kicked out to an open Derrick Williams, who hit a 3-pointer to make it a 93-90 game.
Motiejunas was whistled for his sixth foul at the other end, which allowed Thompson to make a pair of free throws and stretch it to a two-possession game.
Houston trailed by three when Harden tossed up a high-arching trey that hit nothing but cotton to tie the game at 95-95 with 20.5 seconds on the clock.
Gay's jumper from just inside the arc rattled out on Sacramento's final chance in regulation. The Rockets grabbed the rebound and called a timeout with under a second left, but Harden's final effort was long.
Sacramento led 46-36 at the half. Houston opened the third quarter on a 10-3 run to close the gap to 49-46 just 2 1/2 minutes in.
Later in the quarter, Beverley nailed a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two, 55-53, then the Kings ripped off 10 straight as a McLemore dunk off a feed from Collison highlighted the surge.
Harden scored the final four points of the third to cut it to 69-61 entering the fourth.
Houston has won four straight over the Kings ... Sacramento has lost two straight overall ... Williams scored 17 points off the bench in the setback ... Joey Dorsey had a career-high five steals in the win ... Houston went 15- of-44 from beyond the arc ... The Rockets scored 27 points off turnovers, while the Kings netted 20 off turnovers ... Thompson finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds for Sacramento.