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NBA: Houston 101, Boston 89

Dec. 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM

HOUSTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- James Harden touched off a game-closing run Friday that lifted Houston to a 101-89 victory over Boston.

Harden led the way with 21 points in what was Houston's second straight win. Boston, which embarked on a three-game road trip, had won two in a row.

The Celtics were within five inside the 5-minute mark, but Harden hit a 3-pointer that began a 13-6 surge that finished off the contest.

Greg Smith added 20 points for the Rockets while Chandler Parsons had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

Boston overcame a sluggish start to take a two-point halftime lead, but Houston took the lead for good just 1:02 into the third period.

Paul Pierce scored 18 points for the Celtics. Rajon Rondo pitched in 15 points and 13 assists.

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