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Rockets prevail over Sixers in double OT

Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. combined for 51 points as the Houston Rockets extended their homecourt winning streak to three games with a 132-123 double-overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Monday.

Green paired a team-high 27 points with seven assists while Porter added 24 points and six rebounds. Porter, Eric Gordon (14 points) and Jabari Smith Jr. (16 points, 11 rebounds) nailed 3-pointers in the second overtime to help Houston send the 76ers to their third straight loss.

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Joel Embiid scored a game-high 39 points, but his late turnover led to a Porter free throw with 2.9 seconds left that forced the second overtime. Embiid fouled out on the play. Tobias Harris added 27 points on 7-of-8 3-point shooting for the 76ers, while James Harden posted 21 points and seven assists in his return from a 14-game absence. Harden missed 15 of 19 shots.

Behind Embiid, the 76ers erased what was a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter. His free throws with 4:31 left gave Philadelphia a 102-101 lead but Smith responded immediately for the Rockets with a 3-pointer, setting the stage for a tense back-and-fourth stretch run.

When Green completed a three-point play at the 1:48 mark, the Rockets led 108-105 only for Harden to bury a 3 at the shot-clock buzzer on the ensuring possession for the 76ers. Houston forced a turnover with three seconds left, but Green missed at the buzzer to force overtime.

After amassing 17 bench points in the first half, the Rockets matched that total in the third quarter with Eason doing a bit of everything while scoring 11 of his 18 points in the period. Eason was a pest defensively (three steals) and provided additional effort on the glass (six rebounds), and was instrumental in Houston extending to a 90-84 lead entering the final period.

The 76ers jumped to a 10-0 lead before the Rockets scratched the scoreboard on two Porter free throws with 9:16 left in the opening period. Houston survived a ragged first quarter via its accuracy at the line, overcoming 6-for-15 shooting from the floor by sinking 13 of 15 free throws. And despite that early lead, plus Embiid and Harden combining for 21 points in the first, the 76ers saw their advantage evaporate when Gordon hit a trey at the 11:42 mark of the second.

Back in contention, the Rockets didn’t relent. When Furkan Korkmaz and Harris drilled back-to-back 3s, the 76ers extended to a 45-37 lead midway through the second. Philadelphia reclaimed that eight-point advantage later in the second when Harris sank consecutive 3-pointers around the three-minute mark, but the Rockets closed the first half on a 9-0 run sparked by Green, whose driving, twisting layup with 11.8 seconds gave Houston its first lead at 56-55.

–Field Level Media

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