NBA Playoffs: Houston Rockets, Cleveland Cavaliers Knot Series
UNDATED (AP) — The Houston Rockets and Cleveland Cavaliers are hitting the road after splitting the first two games in their conference semifinal series.
James Harden scored half of his 32 points in the fourth quarter and finished with seven assists as the Rockets outscored the Los Angeles Clippers 115-109. Harden was held to 12 points before hitting four free throws in the final two minutes of the third quarter. The Clippers were leading 85-78 late in the third period when Harden took over the game.
Dwight Howard contributed 24 points and 16 rebounds for Houston, while Trevor Ariza added 15 points and 13 boards.
The Clippers played their second straight game without point guard Chris Paul because of a strained hamstring. Blake Griffin carried Los Angeles with 34 points and 15 rebounds after posting triple-doubles in his previous two games. But it wasn't enough for the Clippers, who faded after taking a 69-56 lead early in the third period.
Game 3 is Friday in Los Angeles.
In Cleveland, LeBron James finished with 33 points, eight rebounds and five assists in just over 34 minutes of the Cavs' 106-91 trouncing of the Chicago Bulls. Kyrie Irving added 21 for the Cavs, who led by 25 in the third period.
James Jones hit five of the Cavaliers' 12 3-pointers and finished with 17 points. Iman Shumpert chipped in four treys and 15 points for Cleveland.
Jimmy Butler scored 18 points for the Bulls, who host Game 3 on Friday.
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