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Houston Rockets

James Harden pours in 44 points to lead Houston Rockets to bounce back win over Memphis Grizzlies

James Harden put on a show against the Memphis Grizzlies, leading the Houston Rockets to a 107-100 win, closing out their four-game road trip in style.

With Russell Westbrook rested, Harden took the reigns of the Rockets offence, pouring in 44 points on 12-of-28 shooting from the field, 7-of-16 from the three-point line and 13-of-18 from the free-throw line.

Harden added 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a block on the night as the Rockets move to 4-3 on the season.

With his third 40+ game of the season, Harden now has the fifth-most regular-season 40-point games in NBA history, passing Allen Iverson for sole possession of fifth-place on the all-time list.

He now trails only Elgin Baylor (88), Kobe Bryant (122), Michael Jordan (173) and Wilt Chamberlain (271)

With the scores tied at 70-70 with 5:39 remaining in the third, Harden and Ben McLemore combined for an 11-0 run to give the Rockets a double-digit lead, before taking an 84-76 lead into the fourth.

In a game featuring 15 ties and seven lead changes, the Grizzlies kept coming at the Rockets, with Dillon Brooks' jumper cutting the Rockets lead to 102-96 late in the fourth.

With the game in the balance, Harden iced the game with a trademark stepback jumper to put his squad up nine with 1:38 left.

The Rockets entered the game as the league's worst team defending the three-point line, putting in a much improved performance guarding the perimeter to hold the Grizzlies to just 3-of-25 from beyond the arc.

Eric Gordon added 16 points, while Danuel House Jr. recorded 15 points and nine rebounds. Clint Capela finised with a 10-point, 13-rebound double-double.

Rookie Ja Morant led the Grizzlies with 23 points, six assists and five rebounds, including this huge putback jam!

Dillon Brooks finished with 17 points, while Jonas Valanciunas had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Jae Crowder was ejected with 2:02 remaining in the fourth, after Harden's knee made contact with his groin. After the foul was called on Crowder the pair exchanged words and the Grizzlies forward was done for the night. Harden was assessed a flagrant-1 foul after it was reviewed by the officials.

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