Harden, Westbrook help Rockets rout Trail Blazers 132-108
By KRISTIE RIEKEN
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 36 points, Russell Westbrook had 28 points and a triple-double, and the Houston Rockets coasted to their eighth straight win, 132-108 over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night.
Westbrook had 13 rebounds and 10 assists for his third triple-double of the season and the 141st of his career after sitting out to rest in Houston's last game on Saturday night.
The Rockets led by double digits for most of this one on a night they got starters Clint Capela and Danuel House back after both players had missed time with injuries.
Capela added a season-high 22 points and had 20 rebounds to become the first Rocket to have at least 20 rebounds in four straight games since Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes in 1971. Hayes sat courtside with fellow Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon to witness Capela’s big game.
Houston was up by 18 with about five minutes left when Harden made a 3-pointer to make it 120-99. Westbrook collected his 10th assist when Harden made a layup with about 3 1/2 minutes for Houston's next points and the pair along with P.J. Tucker headed to the bench for good after that.
CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 25 points in a game where Damian Lillard shot just 4 of 15 and had 13 points.
Harden, who has scored at least 30 points in eight straight games, had six rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Houston led by 23 points entering the fourth quarter after scoring 35 points in a big third quarter. The Trail Blazers cut it to 102-85 with about 9 minutes to go but Westbrook had the next three points to pad the lead.
The Trail Blazers cut the lead to 11 with a 3-pointer by McCollum with about 8 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter. The Rockets then used a 19-6 run to make it 94-70 with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the period. Harden had six points in that stretch and Tucker made a 3-pointer and added five points.
The Rockets were up by 14 at halftime after a 15-point second quarter from Harden.
Trail Blazers: Coach Terry Stotts said Carmelo Anthony is expected to join the team on Tuesday. Anthony hasn't played in the NBA since Nov. 8, 2018, when he was with the Rockets ... Portland made 11 of 36 3-pointers.
Rockets: G Eric Gordon spoke to reporters on Monday for the first time since having arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week. Gordon said he is feeling good and hopes to return around Christmas. ... House returned after missing the last three games with a back injury. ... Capela was back in the lineup after sitting out two games with a concussion.
Trail Blazers: Visit New Orleans on Tuesday night.
Rockets: Visit Denver on Wednesday night.
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