Lin and Harden help Rockets launch past Cavaliers 112-104
CNATAIPEI--Jeremy Lin and James Harden together chipped in 49 points to give the Houston Rockets its second consecutive road victory Saturday, beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 112-104.
January 7, 2013, 12:00 am TWN
Lin notched up a total of 20 points and five assists in the game at Quicken Loans Arena. It was the sixth time this season that Lin reached the 20-point mark.
Lin scored 14 points in the second quarter to help the Rockets recover from a 26-20 lag and take a 54-50 lead by halftime.
Leading the team with 29 points, Harden erupted in the fourth quarter to score 16 points and propel the Rockets to their fourth straight win.
“James sure made a couple of big shots down the stretch, no doubt about that,” Houston coach Kevin McHale said of Harden after the game, according to the Rockets' website.
“He made some great plays and, as a team, we found a way to make plays through him. He had a very good game for us,” the coach added.
At one point, the game was tied 78-78, then the Cavaliers gained an 86-85 lead with a little over eight minutes left on the court.
But Lin edged his team past the Cavaliers with a layup shot and Harden helped stretch the gap to 94-88, scoring seven straight points, including a 30-foot three pointer. After that the Cavaliers never got closer than two points.
The Rockets also got a lift from the bench, with Patrick Patterson and Greg Smith scoring a combined 26 points and 17 rebounds, helping to hold off Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving's aggressive play until the final minutes of the game.
Irving racked up a game-high 30 points, including seven straight points that pulled his team to within three points with 01:09 left.
But he also had eight turnovers and an offensive foul against Lin that allowed Harden to extend the lead to seven with 29 seconds left, and the Cavaliers could not recover.
“We just tried to pack the paint defensively and contest every jumper,” Lin said of the Rockets' fourth quarter strategy.
“We put an emphasis on defensive rebounds. Offensively, we spread the floor. We're a little more mature in our development so we really understand that late in the fourth we have to trust and depend on each other a little more and tonight was a good example of that,” he said.