The Cavaliers know they missed Kevin Love in loss to Rockets

Rockets use huge third-quarter rally to defeat Cavaliers

Harden had a triple-double of 38 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds to outduel fellow MVP candidate James and lead the Rockets to victory.

LeBron James paced Cleveland with 30 points and added seven rebounds and five assists while Kyrie Irving chipped in 28 points and eight assists.

"That's an easy game to kind of make an excuse about and not play the best you can", Stevens said. The Rockets may be one of the best offensive teams in the National Basketball Association but they are also among the worst defensive teams as they allow opponents to score 108 points per game. "We haven't had one (recently), so this was good". "You got to see the positive, we held on to the lead and won the game".

Following an epic win over the defending champions, the world is now a believer in the Houston Rockets. And if the Rockets make it to their NBA Finals appearance in more than two decades, they could be a huge threat to the Cleveland Cavaliers. Some of them going to be small lumps. No Cavalier grabbed more than eight boards, and Tristan Thompson was the only player to bring down an offensive rebound. Twelve of those offensive rebounds came in the second half, where Houston overcame a 14-point deficit, outrebounded Cleveland 31-17, and essentially wore out a tired Cavs squad that was playing: A. Shorthanded (again); B. On the second night of a back-to-back. This, combined with some timely crashing of the boards, led to 20 offensive rebounds for the Rockets.

Houston committed just six turnovers and built on their dominance on the offensive glass into 15 second-chance points.

The red and yellow boys are a win away from clinching an assured playoff spot and appear headed toward home court advantage. Carmelo Anthony had 27 for the Knicks. His 11 point, 5 assist first quarter helped the Rockets to a 33-26 lead after a quarter, but with Harden on the bench, the Cavs made their run in the second quarter.

The Indiana Pacers meanwhile maintained their playoff drive with a hard-earned 102-98 win over the Miami Heat, Paul George steering them to victory in a tense battle.

Myles Turner added 15 points for the Pacers, while Jeff Teague scored 12 points.

Miami's latest injury casualty was Goran Dragic, who missed the game after taking an elbow to the eye the previous night.

Hassan Whiteside led the Heat with 26 points and 21 rebounds.

After blowing an 18-point lead, the Trail Blazers recovered to pick up a much-needed road win over the Suns.

Devin Booker had 28 points and Eric Bledsoe added 19 for the Suns, who led twice in the fourth quarter but couldn't stop Portland's backcourt duo.

Lillard scored just four points in the fourth quarter, but fellow guard C.J. McCollum added 26.

LOS ANGELES - Dario Saric scored a career-high 29 points, and Philadelphia ended a four-game losing streak by beating Los Angeles.



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