The Houston Rockets defeated the New Orleans Pelicans 111-104 Saturday night behind game-highs of 33 points and 13 assists from James Harden.
In Patrick Beverley and Dwight Howard's returns to the floor, the Rockets mounted a massive second-half charge after trailing by 13 points at halftime.
Beverley tied a career-high with 20 points (6-of-12 shooting, 4-of-8 from three) and helped the Rockets rack up 39 points in the game's final frame as Houston outscored the opposition by 17 in that span.
Howard added 13 points, six rebounds and two blocks.
With the win, the Rockets (53-27) now sit a full game ahead of the Portland Trail Blazers for the Western Conference's No. 4 seed. Meanwhile, the Pelicans (32-48) have now lost eight games in a row following Saturday night's thriller.
In the loss, swingman Luke Babbitt dropped in a career-high 24 points on 8-of-18 shooting (4-of-8 from three) while Austin Rivers and Anthony Morrow each chipped in 20 points. Rivers also finished with 10 rebounds and six assists on a night when only eight Pelicans players stepped on the floor.
As a team, New Orleans shot 44 percent from the field and 41 percent from three.
Next up for the Pelicans is a matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday while the Rockets will square off against the San Antonio Spurs after a day off on Sunday.
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