Without Harden, Rockets nearly pull off upset but collapse in fourth

The Rockets will regret not stealing that one. Playing without James Harden, the Rockets looked for three quarters like they didn't miss their MVP candidate at all, building a lead as big as 18 points and leading by 15 with under 10 minutes left to go. But crunch time is when you turn to superstars and the Rockets didn't have that -- Atlanta turned up the defensive pressure and the Rockets crumbled, falling 104-96 on the road. Jason Terry led the Rockets with 21 points, amazingly hitting 8 of his first 10 shots, while Terrence Jones (18 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks) was a monster in the first half. Donatas Motiejunas had a career-high 7 assists to go with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Josh Smith added 14 points, 7 rebounds and a pair of blocks. Harden, who sat out from the one-game suspension for kicking LeBron James, will be back for Wednesday's home game against Memphis.

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