Red-hot Rockets win 9th straight, boost playoff position in the West

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Houston Rockets

The Houston Rockets took care of the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night, marking their ninth consecutive win in a row. Kemba Walker outscored all other players, going for 40 points on the night. His effort was in vein, as Houston knocked off the Hornets, 118-106 at the Toyota Center in Houston. James Harden led the Rockets in scoring, putting up 28 points and 10 assists. Clint Capela showed up big as well, registering 19 points and 15 rebounds on the night.

The win streak comes at a great time for the Rockets, who have ascended up the Western Conference in the past weeks. Their form has boosted the Rockets past the Thunder and Trail Blazers in the standings, putting Houston in the third place position, just two games back from the Denver Nuggets in second. With their current form and 17 games left to play, Houston has a viable shot of creeping into the second seed in the west, allowing them to have home court advantage in the postseason until they meet the Warriors.

Like most success that the Rockets have had this season, the nine game win streak correlated directly with the performance of their All-star James Harden. The reigning MVP has all but locked up a second straight most valuable player award this season. The guard has played at another level this year, averaging an NBA leading 36.3 points per game. Harden is not just a scorer either, and is averaging 7.5 assists and 2.1 steals per game this season. His high level of production has the Rockets playing their best ball at a pivotal part of the season. This form will be heavily tested in the Rockets next game, as they host the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday night in Houston.

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