Harden scores 22 points, Rockets beat Nuggets

Carmelo Anthony

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Clint Capela and Chris Paul combined to score 45 points for the Rockets.

By the time halftime arrived, the Nuggets lead the Rockets by just a single point with a score of 55-54.

When it mattered most, Harden suddenly returned to MVP form and began to exploit every crack in in the Nuggets armor. A week earlier, the Hawks had traded Dennis Schröder to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Anthony, Justin Anderson and a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick. Anthony will remain away from the Rockets.

The Rockets' star guard sat out seven games last January because of a Grade 2 hamstring injury in his left leg, but Harden, last season's Most Valuable Player, said what he felt Wednesday was "nothing close to a year ago".

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Two teams sitting on opposite sides of the Western Conference table are clashing tonight, when the struggling Denver Nuggets (9-4), looking to end a losing streak, are hosting the Houston Rockets (5-7), who want to turn their latest victory into a streak. I was disappointed when he went to Houston and said it would be challenging for him to come off the bench. "They've got a great team". The Nuggets have a young, dynamic point guard of their own in Jamal Murray.

In the third quarter, when the Rockets built an 86-76 lead, Harden carved up Denver's defenders for eight points and six assists as Harris tried to slow him. As a starter he only put up 16 points per game, a significant dip from his year prior in NY. The Rockets bounced back in the 3rd, finishing it 32 to 21 to lead by 10 points and kept their composure to win their 2nd straight, amid a roster shakeup.

Rockets: G/F Gerald Green missed a second game due to a right ankle sprain, but is nearing a return. It's no secret that 'Melo doesn't like to make defensive plays and his game mainly revolves around putting up his shots. "Once we put both together, it's going to get scary".

Denver hopes that starts Thursday against Atlanta.

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