NBA wrap: Clint Capela's continued emergence leads Rockets past Pelicans

While James Harden rightly gets most of the praise for helping the Rockets lead the Western Conference, teammate Clint Capela's emergence has made the team elite.

James Harden was at his furious best.   -  AP

While James Harden rightly gets most of the praise for helping the Rockets lead the Western Conference, teammate Clint Capela's emergence has made the team elite.

Capela has thrived since his move to full-time starting center, highlighted by his 28 points on 13-of-14 shooting with eight rebounds and five blocks Monday in a 130-123 win over the Pelicans.

Harden added 26 points with 17 assists and six steals, spearheading Houston's late charge. The Rockets outscored the Pelicans 34-20 in the final quarter.

Rockets point guard Chris Paul did a little of everything Monday, scoring 20 points with nine rebounds, six assists and three steals. The three-headed attack of Harden, Paul and Capela looks as daunting as any ‘Big Three’ in basketball.

Jrue Holiday led the Pelicans with 37 points, and E'Twaun Moore added 36 points, but it wasn't enough to earn the win. Rajon Rondo also recorded a triple-double, which made the Pelicans the fourth team in which he's accomplished the feat with. He scored 13 points with 12 rebounds and 12 assists.

The Rockets (21-4) have now won 10 straight games while maintaining a slender lead over the Warriors out West.

Stud of the Night

Hornets center Dwight Howard scored 23 point on 9-of-13 shooting with seven rebounds and two blocks to lead Charlotte to a 116-103 road victory over the Thunder. The Hornets have struggled to find consistency this season, but Howard has enjoyed career resurgence. The win snapped a three-game Hornets losing streak.

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