In a game featuring James Harden and LeBron James, who could have predicted Clint Capela would make the biggest plays down the stretch?
Capela scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds in the Rockets' 117-113 win on Thursday night. With Houston uncharacteristically struggling to put the ball in the basket in the fourth quarter, it was Capela who scored the team's final six points and closed the game with a strong rejection of James at the rim.
Harden carried the Rockets for most of the contest, finishing with a triple-double (35 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds). James had a team-high 33 points to go with seven assists, but he did turn it over nine times.
The loss drops Cleveland to 5-7 overall, and the Cavs have now lost six of their last eight games. Houston moves to 9-3, extending its winning streak to four games and tying Golden State for the best record in the Western Conference.
Sporting News provided live updates below for the matchup between the Cavs and Rockets. Here's what you missed...
Cavs vs. Rockets: Score, highlights, updates
Final score: Rockets 117, Cavs 113
10:50 p.m. ET — Capela, the closer? The Rockets center was the only Houston player to score in the last 7:45 of the game, and he blocked James' layup attempt with less than 10 seconds to go to seal the win. Harden finishes with 35 points, 13 assists, 11 rebounds and five steals. James led the Cavs with 33 points, and Green had 27 points on a very efficient 11-of-15 shooting night.
The rebounding disparity cost the Cavs big time in this one. The Rockets nearly doubled the Cavs on the boards, 45-26, including 17 offensive rebounds.
"The Beard" beats "The King" this time.
Mood after a W in a battle between 2 mega stars! 🔥 pic.twitter.com/yNepQV6VEG— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) November 10, 2017
10:40 p.m. ET — After more than six minutes and only one point for the Rockets, P.J. Tucker somehow recovers the ball on a mad scramble and flings it to Harden, who then throws a lob to Clint Capela for a traditional 3-point play. James answers with a hard drive to the basket and an easy layup.
Harden shoots a pull-up jumper on the ensuing possession that hits nothing but air. Unfortunately for the Cavs, the ball falls in Capela's hands, and he scores to put the Rockets ahead by four with 10 seconds left.
10:35 p.m. ET — The Cavs use an 11-1 run to fuel a comeback, but Love fouls out with two minutes to go. Rockets 112, Cavs 109.
10:27 p.m. ET — James checks back in with 4:45 left on the clock. The Rockets lead by nine. Let's see if LeBron can help the Cavs close the gap.
10:21 p.m. ET — And there's the triple-double for Harden: 35 points, 12 assists, 10 rebounds. Rockets 111, Cavs 103 with 6:42 remaining.
This seems notable.
In the last 30 seasons, two players have recorded 35 points, 10 assists, 10 rebounds and 5 steals in a game.
Michael Jordan in 1989 and James Harden tonight. pic.twitter.com/TQbrfQDtND— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2017
10:11 p.m. ET — The officiating crew is making some odd calls in this game. A lot of fouls with minimal or incidental contract.
As for the game, Harden drains another 3-pointer to push the lead to nine. Harden is up to 35. No big deal.
Points No. 35November 10, 2017
End of third quarter: Rockets 100, Cavs 93
10:05 p.m. ET — Harden scores 15 points in the quarter as the Rockets regain the lead after a 35-point third quarter. Harden is doing it all: creating his own offense, drawing help defenders to set up others and even drawing an offensive foul on James, who has eight of the Cavs' 15 turnovers.
If the Rockets can keep this rhythm offensively, they will take this one with relative ease. The Cavs need to take care of the ball and slow down Harden if they want to have any shot here.
9:57 p.m. ET — Green with his best performance of the early season. He's put up 25 points on 10-of-11 shooting, and he's a plus-11 off the bench. James has been quiet in the second half so far, but the Cavs only trail by two points.
9:50 p.m. ET — Harden is cooking. He's already got the double-double with 27 points and 10 assists, and now he's searching for three more boards to make it a full triple-double.
This move is just not fair.
Smooth, James.November 10, 2017
9:40 p.m. ET — The Rockets start the third quarter on a 7-0 run capped off by a four-point play from Ariza. Jae Crowder stops the scoreless streak with a 3-pointer.
Something to watch: Foul trouble for the Cavs. Love has four and Crowder and Iman Shumpert each have three.
Halftime: Cavs 67, Rockets 65
9:20 p.m. ET — The Cavs pick up the defensive intensity and close the gap, forcing 10 Rockets turnovers and outscoring Houston 42-27 in the second quarter. James leads all scorers with 22 points on 10-of-13 shooting, and Green is not far behind with 20 points of his own. Harden is filling up the stat sheet with 17 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals.
It looked like the Rockets might blow this one open early, but give credit to the Cavs for putting in real work on the defensive end and chipping away until they got the advantage heading into the locker room.
9:01 p.m. ET — One positive for the Cavs: Jeff Green has 14 points in 10 minutes off the bench. The Rockets lead the Cavs by 12 points with 6:41 left in the first half.
8:55 p.m. ET — Eric Gordon heating up alert! Gordon has 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting, and he's pulling up from anywhere and everywhere.
Eric Gordon has caught fire on @NBAonTNT.
He's got 12 in the quarter. pic.twitter.com/i7kA0S2MJV— NBA (@NBA) November 10, 2017
End of first quarter: Rockets 36, Cavs 25
8:46 p.m. ET — The Rockets struggle shooting in the opening frame (4 of 14 from 3-point range), but they are producing extra opportunities with five offensive rebounds. The Cavs' turnovers aren't helping their cause, as James has already coughed up the ball four times. Harden already has 11 points, five assists, five rebounds and four steals. Could be a big night for "The Beard."
8:35 p.m. ET — Uh oh. James steps directly on Ariza's foot and rolls his left ankle. He falls down and loses the ball, leading to an easy bucket for the Rockets in transition. James leaves the floor without any help from the training staff. Let's see if that limits his mobility in any way.
Cavaliers’ LeBron James rolls left ankle pic.twitter.com/EeylcHcLCX— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) November 10, 2017
8:27 p.m. ET — The Cavs jump out to a fast start, hitting seven of their first eight shots. Love has eight points early, and James isn't feeling much resistance.
8:17 p.m. ET — Trevor Ariza opens the scoring with a 3-pointer on the Rockets' first possession, then Kevin Love answers with a 3 of his own. Going out on a limb here and saying this could be a shootout.
8:08 p.m. ET — Someone needs to tell James Harden he's not allowed to dribble on the bench during the game. Clearly a violation.
7:57 p.m. ET — Well, it looks like LeBron James is ready to roll.