Paul helps Rockets outlast Lakers in double overtime
HOUSTON (AP) James Harden scored 40 points before leaving with a hamstring injury late in the fourth quarter, and Chris Paul scored 15 of his 28 points in overtime as the Houston Rockets snapped a five-game skid with a 148-142 double-overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night.
Los Angeles led by as many as 17, but couldn't hold on as the team's season-long losing streak stretched to six games.
Paul made a pair of free throws to tie it at 142 with about a minute left in the second overtime before Tarik Black blocked Kyle Kuzma's shot on the other end to give Houston the ball back. P.J. Tucker grabbed a rebound on a miss by Paul and put it back up to put Houston on top.
Tucker blocked a 3-point attempt by Kuzma, and Paul added two more free throws to make it 146-142 with three seconds left. Paul made two more free throws after that to secure the win.
The Rockets had hoped to limit Paul's playing time in his second game back after missing three games with a groin injury. But with Harden out, he ended up playing 42 minutes.
MAVERICKS 116, THUNDER 113
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Harrison Barnes scored 24 points, Dennis Smith Jr. got 11 of his 19 points in the final 1:39 and Dallas beat Oklahoma City to close out 2017 with its season-best fourth straight win.
Dirk Nowitzki added 13 points for Dallas, which had lost four straight in Oklahoma City and seven of nine overall against the Thunder.
Dallas won despite Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook recording his 12th triple-double of the season with 38 points, 15 rebounds and 11 assists. The Thunder had been 11-3 in December before consecutive home losses to Milwaukee and Dallas to end the month.
Paul George scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony had 21 for Oklahoma City, combining to go 8 of 14 from 3-point range. Despite their hot shooting, Westbrook took the big shots late for OKC and missed a trio of 3-pointers in the final 30 seconds. He was 0 for 4 from deep for the game.
CELTICS 108, NETS 105
BOSTON (AP) - Kyrie Irving scored 28 points, Al Horford had 10 points and 10 rebounds and Boston held off Brooklyn.
Marcus Morris added 15 points, Terry Rozier scored 14 and Jaylen Brown finished with 13 points as Boston closed 2017 by winning three straight and four of five.
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson had 22 points and 12 rebounds and Caris LeVert scored 16 for the Nets, who could not overcome 10 turnovers in the second half.
The Celtics won their seventh straight against the Nets, although Boston didn't have the game in hand until Irving made a pair of free throws with 7.7 seconds remaining. Boston went the final 4:27 without a field goal and struggled from the foul line, going 13 of 21 in the second half and missing several opportunities to put Brooklyn away.
WIZARDS 114, BULLS 110
WASHINGTON (AP) - Bradley Beal scored 17 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter, leading the Washington Wizards to a 114-110 win over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday.
Beal scored 15 straight points for Washington in the fourth as the Wizards rallied from an eight-point deficit early in the period. He also had nine rebounds and tied a career high with nine assists.
Nikola Mirotic scored 21 points to lead Chicago, which had won 10 of its previous 12. Kris Dunn had 19 points and 11 assists.
David Nwaba's two free throws with 1:26 to play gave Chicago a 108-107 lead, and Dunn hit a jumper with 54 seconds remaining.
John Wall's three-point play with 29.4 seconds left put the Wizards up 112-110. After Beal missed two free throws, Washington got the rebound and Wall added two free throws with 9.1 seconds to play.
76ERS 123, SUNS 110
PHOENIX (AP) - Dario Saric tied a season high with 27 points, and Philadelphia beat Phoenix after blowing an 18-point lead in one quarter.
Joel Embiid added 22 points and nine rebounds, and Ben Simmons had 21 points to help Philadelphia win for third time in four games.
Devin Booker scored 28 of his 32 points in the second half for the Suns, and T.J. Warren had 28.
The Sixers came close to dropping their seventh game in which they have led by 11 points or more. But J.J. Redick made a 3-pointer with 1:31 to play for an insurmountable 119-108 lead. Redick had 22 points.
Phoenix trailed 73-55 with 9:20 left in the third quarter and went on a 32-11 run to take the lead before the quarter ended.
TIMBERWOLVES 107, PACERS 90
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Jimmy Butler had 26 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Minnesota never trailed against Indiana.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks, and Taj Gibson added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves (23-14), who have won nine of the last 12 games.
Joe Young scored a career-high 20 points and Bojan Bogdanovic scored all of his 13 points in the third quarter as the Pacers (19-18) dropped their fourth straight, equaling their worst skid of the season. Indiana also lost four in a row in early November.
This time, the Pacers have been without guard Victor Oladipo, who averages a team-leading 24.9 points per game. He missed a third straight game with an injured right knee.
CLIPPERS 106, HORNETS 98
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Lou Williams scored 40 points, Blake Griffin added 25 and Los Angeles held off Charlotte.
In an offensive struggle for both teams, the Clippers outshot the Hornets 47 percent to 39 percent to win for the fifth time in six games.
DeAndre Jordan grabbed 15 rebounds and went 6 for 6 from the foul line to help the Clippers win their fifth in a row at home.
Kemba Walker scored 30 points, and Frank Kaminsky added 16 for Charlotte. The Hornets fell to 3-13 on the road.
Dwight Howard had 10 rebounds for Charlotte, but was 1 for 9 from the field and had only four points.