The Rockets Survived A Torrid 22-0 Cavs Run Thanks To 55 Points From James Harden

The regular season can be a slog sometimes. Even for the league’s biggest stars, it can be hard to get geared up for, say, a Wednesday night game in December against a lottery-bound opponent. But these are precisely the circumstances that can result in some unexpected magic.

For the Rockets, their visit to Cleveland was an imminently winnable road game, but for the Cavs, it was an opportunity to catch their opponents sleepwalking, which is exactly what they did in the third and fourth quarters of Wednesday’s game. Despite trailing by double-digits in the third, Cleveland rattled off a 22-0 run during the second half to take the lead and put Houston on its heels.

Unfortunately, the young Cavs still have a lot to learn about closing out games. They opened up their lead to as many as 11 points, but they eventually fell, 116-110, behind a 55-point night from James Harden, 24 of which came in the fourth quarter.

The Cavs rode their spectacular second-half run behind a career night from Kevin Porter Jr., who finished with 24 points on the night and made six three-pointers.

During that stretch, the Cavs went 14 straight minutes without a turnover, but made some costly errors down the stretch with five turnovers in the final three-plus minutes. Russell Westbrook added 23 points for the Rockets, but was just 9-of-20 from the field, while Clint Capela logged a double-double with 10 points, 13 rebounds, and three blocks. As for Cleveland, Collin Sexton chipped in 18, while Kevin Love and Jordan Clarkson scored 17 a piece.