Rockets beat Nuggets 110-104 to secure 3rd seed in West

Rockets beat Nuggets 110-104 to secure 3rd seed in West

HOUSTON (AP) - James Harden scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets squandered a big early lead, but held on to outlast the Denver Nuggets for a 110-104 win on Wednesday night that secured the third seed in the Western Conference.

The Nuggets cut the lead to two points on a layup by Nikola Jokic with 1:20 remaining. A 3-pointer by Harden a few seconds later pushed the lead to 106-101 and brought the crowd, which included rapper Travis Scott, to its feet.

Harden added two free throws after that for the last of 15 straight points he scored for Houston in the second half of the fourth quarter.

The Nuggets got a dunk from Danilo Gallinari next to cut the lead to four, but Eric Gordon added a pair of free throws to secure the win.

Gallinari had 23 points for the Nuggets, who are in ninth place and are fighting for the last playoff spot in the West.

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