Harden gets triple-double as Rockets beat Bobcats
HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden never had a game like this, and he never saw a player hurt the way Charlotte's Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was on Saturday night.
Harden had 21 points, a career-high 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his first career triple-double in the Rockets' 109-95 win over the Bobcats on Saturday night.
The Rockets broke open a close game in the fourth quarter, after Kidd-Gilchrist collided with teammate Jeff Taylor and left the court on a stretcher. Kidd-Gilchrist, the second overall pick in last year's draft out of Kentucky, was fitted with a neck brace and taken to the hospital for X-rays.
The team said late Saturday night that Kidd-Gilchrist would be hospitalized overnight with a concussion. The X-rays and a CT scan were negative, the Bobcats said.
"First time I've ever seen that happen in a game," Harden said. "Definitely praying for him. A sad moment, but we just had try to get back, try to get our rhythm back."
Charlotte coach Mike Dunlap said that Kidd-Gilchrist was moving his extremities and talking as he was wheeled off the floor. Dunlap did not know if Kidd-Gilchrist would remained hospitalized in Houston overnight.
The Rockets led 81-80 early in the fourth when Kidd-Gilchrist was injured. He was trying to block Toney Douglas' driving layup and Taylor came in behind him going for the rebound.
Taylor's right hip connected with the back of Kidd-Gilchrist's head and Taylor came down on top of his teammate. Taylor heard Kidd-Gilchrist talking to the medical personnel, but he didn't speak to Kidd-Gilchrist directly.
"I didn't see anything, it happened so fast," Taylor said.
Chandler Parsons and Patrick Patterson scored 24 points apiece for the Rockets. Patterson hit 10 of 12 shots and scored 14 points in the final quarter to help Houston finally pull away.
"He just caught fire," Houston point guard Jeremy Lin said of Patterson. "We just kind of rode him all the way to victory."
The Bobcats rallied from 15 points down in the third quarter to take a five-point lead in the fourth. But they seemed to lose their momentum after Kidd-Gilchrist went down, and Houston finished with a 26-7 spurt.
"We can throw out any excuse we want," Dunlap said. "We know it's difficult. They're humans and they care about their teammate, but the other team had a stoppage as well."