Harden powers Rockets past Spurs

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Updated: December 25, 2013

San Antonio, TX (SportsNetwork.com) – James Harden returned from a two-game
absence and led all five Houston starters in double figures with 28 points, as
the Rockets topped the San Antonio Spurs, 111-98, at AT&T Center.

Harden sat out games against Detroit and Dallas due to a sprained left ankle,
but the veteran shooting guard was a one-man wrecking crew in the fourth
quarter against the Spurs. Harden had 11 straight Houston points during the
final period and scored 16 in the frame.

Dwight Howard contributed 15 points and 20 rebounds for the Rockets, who are
within 3 1/2 games of the Spurs for first place in the Southwest Division.
Terrence Jones had 21 points and 14 boards, while Chandler Parsons also scored
21 to go with six rebounds and six assists. Jeremy Lin had 13 points and eight
helpers.

The Rockets, who didn’t trail the entire game, made 12-of-24 shots from beyond
the arc.

Manu Ginobili had 22 points for the Spurs, who suffered only their fourth home
loss all season. Two of those defeats have come against the Rockets. Tim
Duncan finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and five assists.

Kawhi Leonard scored 13 points for the Spurs, who lost for the second time in
three contests.