Harden scores 50, has triple-double as Rockets beat Kings
Harden had his 42nd career triple-double and third 50-point game in the last six. He made seven 3-pointers to become the ninth player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career 3s.
Bogdan Bogdanovic had 24 points for the Kings. They have lost two straight and fell to 0-3 against Houston this season.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) —Tobias Harris scored 25 points for Philadelphia in Jimmy Butler’s jeer-filled return to Minnesota, helping the 76ers hang on and move one step closer toward solidifying the No. 3 seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Ben Simmons pitched in 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Sixers (49-27), who stretched their lead over Boston and Indiana to 4½ games with eight games to go. They’re still four games behind second-place Toronto.
Rookie Jonah Bolden filled in for Joel Embiid and posted a career-best 19 points for the Sixers, who overcame the precautionary absence of their All-Star center and a quiet night by Butler (12 points on 4-for-17 shooting with 13 rebounds and five assists) to start a three-game road trip with a quality win.
NETS 110, CELTICS 96
NEW YORK (AP) — D’Angelo Russell scored 20 of his 29 points in another blistering third quarter against Boston, leading Brooklyn over the short-handed Celtics.
Back from a seven-game trip that lasted more than two weeks, the Nets had a happy homecoming thanks largely to Russell, who added 10 assists and finished with 25 points after halftime.
Caris LeVert added 15 points for the Nets, who had dropped the final two games of the trip and still face a tough stretch now that they’re back home.
DETROIT (AP) — Reggie Jackson scored 28 points, Andre Drummond had 22 points and 19 rebounds, and Detroit ended Portland’s six-game winning streak.
The Pistons were missing Blake Griffin, who was scratched moments before game time with a sore left knee, but were able to maintain a half-game lead over the Brooklyn Nets for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference. Detroit has won 11 straight at home.
Damian Lillard scored 23 points and Enes Kanter added 20 points and 15 rebounds for Portland, which fell a half-game behind the Houston Rockets for the third seed in the Western Conference.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Aaron Gordon had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Orlando racked up a season-high 37 assists in a win over Indiana to keep pace in the Eastern Conference playoff race.
Coming off a blowout loss at Detroit that snapped a six-game win streak, Orlando got back on track with a relentless attack. The Magic shot 51 percent from the field and finished with only seven turnovers.
Darren Collison posted 24 points and nine assists for the Pacers, who shot 53 percent from the field but committed 15 turnovers in losing to the Magic for the third time this season.
HEAT 100, KNICKS 92
The Heat have won six of their last eight games and hold a half-game lead over Orlando for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference.
Emmanuel Mudiay scored 24 points for the Knicks, who have lost six straight and 14 of 15.
Marc Gasol had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists as Toronto won its third straight.
Leonard was excused for personal reasons and didn’t make the trip to Chicago. He leads the Raptors in scoring at 27 points and has played in 55 of the team’s 77 games this season. Siakam, who averages 17 points, was healthy and in uniform on the bench, but was held out to rest. The third-year forward had 31 points Thursday in a win over the New York Knicks.
Walt Lemon Jr., in his first game with the team, led the short-handed Bulls with 19 points.
PHOENIX (AP) — Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 20 rebounds, Mike Conley added 33 points and Memphis overcame 48 from Devin Booker to beat Phoenix.
Valanciunas scored 10 points in the final 4 1/2 minutes as the Grizzlies finished on a 16-9 run. They had lost five of seven.
Booker had 24 points in the first quarter and fell two short of becoming the fifth player in NBA history to score at least 50 points in three straight games. He had the ball on the final two Suns possessions but was double-teamed and could not get off a shot.
The Clippers have won seven of eight and 12 of 14, and they moved within one-half game of San Antonio for the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
JaMychal Green added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who connected on 15 of 33 3-pointers. Los Angeles shot 62.4 percent overall.
Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points in 24 minutes off the bench for Cleveland, while rookie Collin Sexton added 21 points and Cedi Osman had 19. Sexton scored at least 20 points for the 11th time in his past 12 games.
- Houston Rockets
- James Harden
- Miami Heat
- Philadelphia 76ers
- Sacramento Kings
- Toronto Raptors