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Harden seals thriller for Rockets

Los Angeles (AFP) – James Harden nailed a last-gasp layup with less than three seconds on the clock as the Houston Rockets snatched a 125-124 victory over the Denver Nuggets in Texas on Monday. 

Harden capitalized on a wayward shot from Nuggets guard Jameer Nelson to power up the length of the court to settle a thriller as the Rockets improved to 49-22. 

It was another talismanic display from Harden, who finished with 39 points to lead the scoring on a night when six Rockets finished in double figures.

Harden also had 11 assists while reserve Eric Gordon weighed in with a useful 18 points which included back-to-back three-pointers at the start of the fourth quarter to give Houston the lead. 

The Rockets appeared to have done enough for victory after Harden helped them to a 123-118 lead with 1:28 left in the game. 

But Will Barton drained a three-pointer and then converted a three-point play with 42.1 seconds left before Harden’s game-winning lay-up helped seal Houston’s win.

Barton finished with 24 points off the bench as the Nuggets slipped to 33-37 after their third defeat of the season against Houston.

Nikola Jokic added 22 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists while Gary Harris chipped in with a team-high 28 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

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