HOUSTON — James Harden had 53 points, 17 assists and 16 rebounds for his second straight triple double, and the Rockets beat the short-handed Knicks 129-122 Saturday night.
Harden set career highs for points and 3-pointers with nine and matched his career best for assists. He passed his previous career best of 51 on a 3 with 1:16 left, leading to a standing ovation.
The Knicks got within three several times in the fourth quarter, the last coming on a layup by former Gator Joakim Noah with about four minutes left. Harden responded to Noah's basket with three free throws before dishing to Ryan Anderson for a 3-pointer that made it 119-111.
Another 3 by Anderson with less than two minutes left extended the lead to 124-113.
Harden, who had 30 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in Friday's 140-116 victory against the Clippers, completed his eighth triple double this season when he grabbed his 10th rebound with about 10 minutes left in the third quarter.
It was his 17th career triple double and his fourth career 50-point game.
The Knicks played without starters Kristaps Porzingis (sore Achilles tendon) and Courtney Lee (sore right wrist) because of injuries. They lost another one at halftime when Carmelo Anthony was sidelined by a sore left knee. He had seven points in the first half.
Anderson added 25 for the Rockets.
Game Highlights: Russell Westbrook had another triple double with 17 points, 12 rebounds and 14 assists as the host Thunder cruised past the Clippers 114-88. … LeBron James scored 17 of his 32 in the first quarter, and the visiting Cavaliers beat the Hornets 121-109. … Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 35, Jabari Parker added 27 and the visiting Bucks used a huge fourth quarter to beat the Bulls 116-96. … Mike Conley had 22 points and eight rebounds, and the visiting Grizzlies overcame an ankle injury to Marc Gasol to beat the Kings 112-98. … Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 13 rebounds and Gordon Hayward added 18 points and nine rebounds in the host Jazz's 91-86 victory over the Suns.
Around the League: Rajon Rondo was out of the Bulls' lineup, one day after being benched for poor play against the Pacers. Coach Fred Hoiberg called it a "strictly basketball" move.