Los Angeles: James Harden delivered another dynamic performance with his second straight 51-point outing but once again it wasn't enough as the Houston Rockets lost 128-118 to the Los Angeles Clippers on Friday.
The Clippers came on in the second half to offset the heroics of guard Harden, who equalled his points total from Wednesday's 122-116 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Harden finished 15 of 28 from the floor and 15 of 16 from the free-throw line while contributing eight assists in front of a crowd of 18,000 at the Rockets' Toyota Center arena.
On Wednesday, Harden scored his 51 in 43 minutes of playing time -- and Friday he did it in 41 minutes.
Austin Rivers caught fire in the second half and, with some help from Lou Williams, shot the Clippers to victory.
Rivers scored 30 of his team-high 36 points on 10-of-18 shooting in the second half, drilling five of 10 three-pointers down the stretch to keep the Rockets off guard.
Williams, traded by Houston in the offseason as part of the blockbuster Chris Paul deal, scored 32 points.
Eric Gordon chipped in 28 points for Houston, which closed a season-long seven-game homestand with consecutive losses to the Los Angeles teams.
Elsewhere, the Brooklyn Nets started quickly, played aggressively and dominated on defence en route to a 119-84 wire-to-wire victory over the struggling Washington Wizards on Friday night.