CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – James Harden scored 31 points, Dwight Howard had a double-double in his return to the court and the Houston Rockets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 100-89 Monday night for their fourth straight win.
Harden had 14 points in the pivotal third quarter and finished 11-of-19 from the field.
Terrence Jones added 18 points and seven rebounds in the victory.
Howard had missed the previous three games with an ankle injury, but Houston won all three without him by an average of 23 points. He finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Kemba Walker had 22 points and Al Jefferson had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which lost for only the second time in 11 games at home.
The Bobcats shot just 37 percent from the field.
The Rockets entered 1 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Clippers in the race for third place in the Western Conference.
AP-WF 3/24/2014 20:35