HOUSTON — Spencer Dinwiddie didn’t seem to be nearly as wowed by his late-game scoring for the Brooklyn Nets as he was by the fact that his team got an overtime victory on a night when James Harden had a season-high 58 points.
“The man had 60 and we won,” Dinwiddie said, shaking his head and only slightly exaggerating Harden’s performance. “That’s big time for a young group.”
Dinwiddie scored 25 of his 33 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and the Nets spoiled Harden’s night with a 145-142 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.
Harden had his second straight season high after scoring 57 in a victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Monday night, but he was only 5-of -9 from 3-point range. The Rockets shot an NBA-record 70 3s, making just 23.
Harden has scored at least 30 points in 18 straight games and has reached 40 in nine of the past 12. He was 16-of-34 overall from the field, made 21-of-23 free throws and had 10 rebounds and six assists.
He was disappointed that his team squandered an eight-point lead with about a minute left in the fourth and a seven-point advantage in overtime.
“Frustrating,” Harden said. “Very frustrating.”
Dinwiddie forced overtime, making three 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds of regulation. In the extra period, he hit the go-ahead basket with 28 seconds left.
“Just fantastic, he was unbelievable,” Nets coach Kenny Atkinson said. “The 3s were great, but I also love how he was driving the ball to the rim too.”
Dinwiddie said he didn’t really have time to celebrate his hot shooting as it was happening and kept a very businesslike mindset.
“It was like: ‘Down nine. Down six. Down three. Oh, tied? Let’s get a stop,'” he said about his 3-point spree. “That’s really all it was.”
After Harden made three free throws to give the Rockets a one-point lead, James Nunnally — who signed a 10-day contract Wednesday — hit a 3-pointer to make it 142-135 with 1:28 left in overtime.
Treveon Graham made a 3 for Brooklyn and Jarrett Allen made a basket but missed a free throw to cut the lead to 142-140. But the Nets grabbed a rebound and Dinwiddie, who had seven points in OT, made a three-point play to put Brooklyn up 143-142. Austin Rivers missed a 3 for Houston, and Joe Harris made two free throws to make it 145-142 with 1.6 seconds left.
Houston had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Gerald Green‘s shot clanged off the rim.
Allen had 21 points and a career-high 24 rebounds, Graham had a career-high 21 points and DeMarre Carroll added a season-best 22.
Harden agreed that fatigue contributed to this loss on a night when he and Rivers both played more than 45 minutes and PJ Tucker almost 42.
“A little bit,” he said. “We were small. You’ve got James [Nunnally] out there his first game ,and we had a couple of mistakes out there near the end. But give them credit; they made some big shots.”
The Rockets broke their own record for 3-point attempts after shooting 61 against New Orleans on Dec. 16, 2016. Houston also holds the record for most 3-pointers made after hitting 26 in a win over Washington this season. Green, who did not attempt a 2-point basket, made 5-of-15.
The Rockets were up by 11 with about 2½ minutes left when Brooklyn used a 9-3 run to get to 127-122 with about 30 seconds left.
Tucker made two free throws after that, and Dinwiddie made a 3 for Brooklyn with 26.2 seconds remaining to cut it to 128-125. Harden made one of two free throws, and Dinwiddie struck again with another 3 about five seconds later to get Brooklyn within one.
Tucker missed two free throws, but Harden grabbed a rebound with 12.7 seconds left. He made both free throws. Then Dinwiddie made a third straight 3-pointer to tie it up with 8.4 seconds left. Harden had a chance to win it in regulation, but his 3-point attempt bounced off the rim.
Nets: Jared Dudley missed his third straight game with a strained left hamstring. … Shabazz Napier returned after missing one game with tightness in his right hamstring. … Rondae Hollis-Jefferson was back after sitting out the past seven games with a right adductor strain.
Rockets: Eric Gordon had 20 points in his return after missing eight games with a bruised right knee. He came out of the game early because his knee was sore, but Gordon said he’s OK. … James Ennis III missed the game after cutting his left leg in a fall at his house. Coach Mike D’Antoni said he should return for the next game. … Chris Paul missed his 13th game in a row with a strained left hamstring … Brandon Knight sat out with a sore left knee.
MORE HARDEN NUMBERS
Harden’s 58 points are the second most in franchise history, behind the career-high 60 he scored against Orlando on Jan. 30, 2018. It’s the second time in his career he has scored at least 50 points in back-to-back games, after he did it on Dec. 20 and Dec. 22, 2017. It’s also his fourth 50-point game this season and the 13th of his career, which ranks sixth in NBA history. He is averaging 40 points in his past 21 games.
Nets: At Orlando on Friday night.
Rockets: Host Lakers on Saturday night.