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NBA: Harden's big second half helps Rockets extend Nuggets' skid

Houston Rockets guard James Harden, left, drives the lane past Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Nov. 13, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) -- James Harden scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half and the Houston Rockets pulled away to beat Denver 109-99 on Tuesday night, sending the Nuggets to a fourth straight loss.

Harden also had 11 assists, with several going to Clint Capela, who led the Rockets with 24 points, including a series of dunks. Chris Paul added 21 points for Houston, playing for a third straight game without Carmelo Anthony because of what the team said was an illness.

Monte Morris had 19 points for the Nuggets, who have lost their last eight meetings with Houston. Gary Harris and Jamal Murray added 15 points apiece.

A step-back shot by Murray got Denver within four points midway through the fourth quarter but Harden went on a tear, scoring 11 straight Houston points to put the Rockets up 104-91 with 3:48 remaining.

CAVALIERS 113, HORNETS 89

CLEVELAND (AP) -- Jordan Clarkson scored 24 points, Tristan Thompson had 21 rebounds and 11 points, and injury-riddled Cleveland won for the second time this season, beating Charlotte.

The Cavaliers (2-11) broke a five-game losing streak. Cleveland's first win came against Atlanta on Oct. 30.

Kemba Walker, the league's third-leading scorer, was held to a season-low seven points and was 2 for 16 from the field. The Hornets star guard was averaging 27.9 points going into the game.

Rodney Hood scored 16 points for Cleveland, which built a double-figure lead midway through the first quarter and maintained that the rest of the game. Rookie point guard Collin Sexton scored 16 points and had five assists. David Nwaba scored 18 points off the bench.

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