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Harden helps Rockets beat Spurs 96-87 in preseason

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HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden scored 25 points, and the Houston Rockets used a big run before halftime to beat the San Antonio Spurs 96-87 in a preseason game on Friday night.

Harden struggled in the first half, going 2 for 9 from the field for five points. But he scored 20 in the third on 7-for-10 shooting, and then rested during the final period.

Isaiah Canaan added 18 points for the Rockets, who shot 42 percent from the floor, including 15 of 35 from behind the arc. Terrence Jones had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Trevor Ariza added 11 points and nine boards.

Marco Belinelli led the Spurs with 19 points, and Danny Green scored 14. Tim Duncan had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Tony Parker finished with eight points and 10 assists.

The Rockets used a 22-5 run over the final 9 1/2 minutes of the second to open a 49-32 halftime lead. Ariza had seven points in the surge.

San Antonio had one field goal during Houston's big run, a Parker jumper with 6:52 remaining. The Spurs started the quarter 3 for 4 from the field but finished 1 of 11 and missed their final seven shots.

The Spurs cut the lead down to two with two minutes left in the fourth on an Austin Daye 3-pointer, but they couldn't complete the comeback.

Houston played without center Dwight Howard, who suffered a laceration in his right forearm that required stitches. He is listed as day to day.

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