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NBA roundup: James Harden’s 36 points lift Rockets

J.R. Smith (left) didn’t control the ball long around the Rockets’ James Harden.

BRAD PENNER /USA TODAY Sports

J.R. Smith (left) didn’t control the ball long around the Rockets’ James Harden.

James Harden was back in the lineup, Jeremy Lin was back at Madison Square Garden, and that was just enough to help the Houston Rockets withstand Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks.

Harden scored 36 points in his return from a one-game absence, and the Rockets overcame Anthony’s 45 points for a 109-106 victory Thursday.

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Anthony had the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season and grabbed 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough for the Knicks in their fourth straight home loss.

Chandler Parsons added 22 points and Lin had 21 for the Rockets, who beat the Knicks for the eighth straight time even on a mostly silent night from Dwight Howard, largely outplayed by Andrea Bargnani.

‘‘Jeremy stepped up, James played big and that’s what we need,’’ Howard said.

Howard had just 7 points with his 15 rebounds, though he did make a pair of free throws with 1:15 left that gave Houston a 5-point lead.

Harden, who missed the Rockets’ 123-117 overtime loss in Philadelphia on Wednesday with a bruised left foot, scored 7 straight Houston points for 9-point lead with 3:51 left.

Warriors 116, Thunder 115 — Andre Iguodala made a baseline jumper as time expired to lift Golden State to a thrilling victory over Oklahoma City in Oakland, Calif.

Russell Westbrook’s 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining put the Thunder ahead after they trailed by 14 points early in the fourth quarter. Warriors coach Mark Jackson called a timeout to regroup, and power forward David Lee inbounded the ball from near half court.

Iguodala caught the ball and extended over Thabo Sefolosha for the winning shot, sending the crowd of 19,596 into a frenzy. He sprinted toward half court and was mobbed by teammates.

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