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Harden scores 31 as Rockets rout Lakers 112-95

James Harden, Roy Hibbert, D'Angelo Russell, Kobe Bryant

Houston Rockets guard James Harden, second from right, goes up for a shot as Los Angeles Lakers center Roy Hibbert, right, and guard D’Angelo Russell, second from right, defend while forward Kobe Bryant, left, watches during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)


LOS ANGELES (AP) — James Harden scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets pulled away from the Los Angeles Lakers with a pivotal run in the third quarter en route to a 112-95 victory Sunday night.

The Rockets, who snapped a season-high five-game winning streak Friday night with a 91-77 home loss to Cleveland, began the second half of their schedule by beating the Lakers at Staples Center for the sixth straight time.

Dwight Howard had 14 points and 15 rebounds to earn his ninth straight double-double, his longest such streak since a 14-game run three seasons ago. He is averaging 18.9 points and 13.4 boards during this stretch.

Lou Williams led Los Angeles with 20 points. Kobe Bryant, trying to play through a sore right Achilles, had just five points in 24 minutes and tied a season high with nine assists before sitting out the fourth quarter.