James Harden scored 39 points and the Rockets won their 11th straight game to keep pace atop the Western Conference standings. The Brooklyn Nets beat the Clippers 124-113 in a close contest.

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James Harden Scores 39, Nets Beat Clippers 124

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) — The Brooklyn Nets upset the Los Angeles Clippers 124-108 on Monday night in a duel of short-handed teams, with James Harden tying his season high with 39 points and a season-high 15 assists.

With a sweep in Los Angeles, the Nets advanced to 13-3 on the road, which is the best in the NBA. On Christmas Day, they defeated LeBron James and the Lakers 122-115 in their first game following three consecutive postponements due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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(Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Will Navarro/Icon Sportswire)

Both teams were missing a total of 15 players owing to health and safety rules as well as injuries. The Nets have seven players in protocol, including NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, who weren’t on the club at the time.

Harden turned proved to be more than capable on his own, with the help of his supporting cast. Patty Mills, who had 18 points and six 3-pointers, was one of four Nets who scored in double digits. Nic Claxton scored 18 points, tying his career best.

The Clippers were without two of their best players. With a damaged ligament in his right elbow, Paul George might be sidelined for up to a month, while Kawhi Leonard has yet to play this season as he recovers from ACL reconstruction surgery.

Marcus Morris led the Clippers in scoring with a season-high 24 points in his first game back from the suspension. Eric Bledsoe chipped in with 15 points.

While orchestrating the simple victory, Harden entered some rare company. His 6,000th career assist made him the 10th player in NBA history to reach 20,000 points, 5,000 rebounds, and 6,000 assists. The late Kobe Bryant, James, Chris Paul, Oscar Robertson, and current Clippers CEO Jerry West are among those on the list.

With eight assists, Harden came close to a triple-double.

In the second quarter, the Nets took command.

They scored 33 points while restricting the Clippers to only 22. Mills made two 3-pointers and DeAndre’ Bembry scored six points to help the Nets lead 71-55 at halftime, their greatest halftime advantage on the road this season.


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Will Navarro/Icon Sportswire)

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In the third quarter, the Nets scored 30 points to increase their advantage to 22 points. With a 74-38 advantage in the paint, they totally crushed the Clippers.

The Clippers made five 3-pointers in the first quarter to go out to an eight-point lead.

Blake Griffin then came off the bench to avenge his former club.

As part of an 11-0 run, Griffin scored back-to-back dunks and layups to equalize the game and then give the Nets their first lead of the game. Harden then scored on Griffin’s steal and subsequently assisted on Griffin’s one-handed slam, which brought back memories of his days with the Clippers in Lob City. Griffin had 12 points and nine rebounds in the game.


In the fourth quarter, Bembry was penalized for a flagrant-1 foul on Brandon Boston Jr. beneath the basket. In the third, he received a second technical for unsportsmanlike conduct…. Harden scored 30 points for the fifth time this season and the second time in a row. Their 71 points were the most they’d scored in either half of the season. Their 38 points matched their season best for a first quarter on the road. They won their fourth straight game against the Clippers. Guard Langston Galloway has been signed to a second 10-day contract.

Clippers: Starter Reggie Jackson and reserve Jay Scrubb both remained in protocol. Because of soreness from a right ankle injury, Nicolas Batum sat out the night after playing.


The Nets began a three-game homestand against Philadelphia on Thursday, which also includes a visit from the Clippers.

The Clippers begin a three-game Eastern road trip on Wednesday in Boston.

MORE NEWS: The Los Angeles Police Department has released body-cam footage of a teen bystander who was killed.

(The Associated Press, Copyright 2021.) All Rights Reserved by the Author. It is forbidden to publish, broadcast, rewrite, or disseminate this content.)

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