James Harden

James Harden committed a season-high eight turnovers against the Hornets. He shrugged that off because he also handed out eight assists, one off his season high, as the Houston Rockets played their best game in almost three weeks.

Harden had 30 points and the Rockets broke out of their worst slump of the season by beating New Orleans 100-82 on Friday night.

”It was about making the easy play,” said Harden, selected to his first All-Star team Thursday. ”Sometimes I tried to do too much, but for the most part our team played great defensively and offensively for four quarters. We needed it a lot just for our confidence.”

The Rockets, who had lost eight of nine and trailed by double digits in 12 straight games, led almost all the way this time. Harden scored 10 points and Patrick Patterson had six during a 16-2 run early in the third quarter as Houston took control, going ahead 64-46…

Jeremy Lin had 13 points and eight assists for Houston, matching his assist total from the previous three games combined.

The Rockets outrebounded the Hornets 44-34 and made 11 of 21 3-pointers after barely hitting more than 30 percent during their skid. Houston limited the Hornets to 38.8 percent shooting, including a dismal 3 of 20 from 3-point range. The Rockets scored 20 fast-break points to nine for New Orleans…

Eric Gordon scored 20 points for New Orleans and Ryan Anderson added 19 off the bench, but point guard Greivis Vasquez had a season-low two points on 1-of-6 shooting and played barely more than 6 minutes in the second half.

– Reported by Guerry Smith of the Associated Press