NBA: Harden powers Rockets over the Suns; Wizards go down despite Beal's 40-point tally

James Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds finishing just one rebound short of a triple double. He also had six steals.
James Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds finishing just one rebound short of a triple double. He also had six steals.PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - James Harden flirted with a triple double as the Houston Rockets beat the Phoenix Suns for the 10th straight game with a 108-102 win on Friday.

Harden had 41 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds finishing just one rebound short of a triple double. He also had six steals.

Houston were behind for much of the game and shot poorly from beyond the arc but their ability to finish down the stretch gave them their 10th win in their last 11 NBA games.

Harden's final assist was key as it helped seal the Rockets victory. He made a nice dish to teammate Danuel House who nailed a three-pointer to give the Rockets a 105-100 lead with under a minute left.

Harden said there are some aspects they need to improve on.

"We've just got to be more consistent with demanding stops," Harden said. "We do it when we need to, but we need to do it throughout the course of a game. Then, that will take our game to another level."

Eric Gordon added 19 points and House had 18 for the Rockets on a night Chris Paul was given the night off.

Booker delivered 29 points for the Suns, who lost their second in a row.

"We couldn't really close the game," Suns coach Igor Kokoskov said. "We lost the game in the last couple of minutes and the last couple of possessions."

In Washington, Kemba Walker scored 28 points and the Charlotte Hornets overcame Bradley Beal's 40-point performance with a 116-110 win over the Washington Wizards.

Jeremy Lamb added 18 points, Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker had 16 points each for Charlotte in a game between two teams battling for the final play-off berth in the Eastern Conference.

Walker knows how Beal feels. He was coming off a 40-point effort in a loss to the Rockets.

Beal had 23 by half-time and finished with 40 on 15-of-29 shooting.

In Los Angeles, Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points as the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the Chicago Bulls 128-121 in a game which saw both coaches thrown out for arguing in the third quarter.

Clippers head coach Doc Rivers was ejected along with his Chicago counterpart Jim Boylen after Boylen thought Montrezl Harrell was too aggressive on an offensive foul.

"I was talking to the ref and I hear Boylen say to me, we were dirty or whatever, because in the first half we set another legal pick and one of their guys got hurt.

"I wanted to say turn around and yell at your guys and tell them to call out picks but don't yell at me. I didn't say it that nicely. Then ref threw us both out.

"I been around for a while and I think I needed to try something new. It felt pretty good actually."

Elsewhere, Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points, and the visiting Milwaukee Bucks rallied from a 20-point half-time deficit to beat the Miami Heat 113-98.

In Detroit, Langston Galloway came off the bench to score 23 points and the Pistons downed the lowly Los Angeles Lakers 111-97.

The Pistons snapped a two-game losing streak, while the Lakers lost for the seventh time in eight games.