);
Houston Rockets

Harden lifts Rockets with clutch late plays against San Antonio Spurs

#Harden

A back and forth affair unfolded in the first half between the two Western Conference rivals before the Rockets clicked into gear after the main break.

MORE: Clippers hand Nuggets biggest loss of the season

Down by two at the half, the Rockets took off in the third frame as they dropped a staggering 43 points to head into the final quarter with a 15-point advantage.

The Spurs, however, weren't going to roll over and fought back in the fourth to tie the game up in the final minutes.

But then The Beard put the game on ice with his patented stepback 3-point dagger.

The reigning MVP finished with 39 points and 10 assists as the Spurs struggled to quell his influence on the contest.

Along with Harden, Clint Capela proved a nightmare for San Antonio as the big man ended with 21 points and an enormous 23 rebounds.

The win makes it six victories in their past seven games for the Rockets, as they continue their climb back up the standings.

For the Spurs, DeMar DeRozan was a shining light as the former Raptor dropped 28 points, pulled down seven rebounds and dished out eight assists.

The loss snaps the Spurs' three-game win streak. They'll now have a few days off before a meeting against the Denver Nuggets on Thursday.

Houston will be back in action on Christmas Day when they host the Oklahoma City Thunder.

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