Shooting guard James Harden scored 28 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 111-98 road win over the San Antonio Spurs.
Harden, who had missed the two previous games with an ankle injury, went 11-of-16 from the field and 3-of-3 from 3-point range and also grabbed six rebounds and dished out six assists in Christmas Day action at the AT&T Center in San Antonio.
Rockets center Dwight Howard was also a major contributor with 15 points and 20 rebounds, while power forward Terrence Jones contributed 21 points and 14 boards in one of his best games of the season.
Small forward Chandler Parsons also added 21 points, six rebounds and six assists for Houston, which also got 13 points and eight assists from point guard Jeremy Lin.
While all five Rockets starters scored in double figures and combined for 98 points, the Spurs' starting five only notched 45 points.
San Antonio was led by Argentine guard Manu Ginobili, who came off the bench to score 22 points on 8-of-17 shooting.
The Rockets grabbed a 40-25 advantage at the end of the first quarter. San Antonio gradually chipped away and narrowed that lead to eight points with one quarter to play, but Harden's offensive outburst stymied the Spurs' rally.
Houston improved to 19-11 and moved past the Phoenix Suns into fifth place in the Western Conference standings, while San Antonio fell to 22-7 and is currently in third place behind the Portland Trail Blazers and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In other action Wednesday, the Chicago Bulls routed the Brooklyn Nets 95-78, the Thunder trounced the New York Knicks 123-94, the Miami Heat topped the Los Angeles Lakers 101-95, and the Golden State Warriors edged the Los Angeles Clippers 105-103. EFE