By Adam Spolane

Early on Wednesday night at Toyota Center it was apparent James Harden would notch another triple-double. He completed when he grabbed his 10th rebound of the night with 1:40 left in the third quarter as the Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers

It’s Harden’s second triple-double in as many games and 17th of the season. He finished with 18 points, 12 rebounds and 13 assists. He also turned the ball over 9 times in a game that was a bit of a slopfest at times.

Harden scored 12 points and dished out 8 assists as the Rockets led 37-26 after the first quarter. They only had three turnovers in the quarter while the Lakers finished the period with 10, though that flipped in the second.

Houston gave the ball up 10 times, which allowed the Lakers to hang around and trim a 19-point deficit to 14 at halftime, and Los Angeles took advantage of six turnovers in the first half of the third quarter to get within eight points, but the Rockets closed the period on a 14-4 run and started the fourth quarter on a 24-8 spurt to finish things off.

Playing against the team that traded him last month, Lou Williams led the Rockets in scoring with 30 off the bench. He made his first six shots from the field and finished 11-of-16, 7-of-8 from three.

Trevor Ariza scored 20 points on just nine field goal attempts as the Rockets improve to 47-21 on the season, maintaining their 3-game lead over Utah for the 3-seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.

Clint Capela gave the Rockets 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Eric Gordeon and nene added 10.

Julius Randle’s 32-points was a game-high and his career-high. He shot 13-of-17 from the field, but the Lakers committed 22 turnovers to go with just 16 assists and fall to 20-48 on the season.