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Harden’s 45 lead Rockets...Bucks stay hot...Lakers fall sans LeBron...Taylor carries Wisconsin

December 28, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 17 of his 45 points in the fourth quarter and had six assists as the Houston Rockets beat the Boston Celtics, 127-113 for their eighth win in nine games. Harden was 9-for-18 from beyond the arc, and Clint Capela added 24 points and 18 rebounds. Eric Gordon scored 20 points for Houston, which shot 48 percent while improving to a season-high four games above .500.

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks won for the sixth time in seven games as Giannis Antetokounmpo (YAH’-nihs an-teh-toh-KOON’-poh) delivered 31 points and 14 rebounds in a 112-96 rout of the Knicks. Khris Middleton added 25 points for the Bucks, who were coming off Tuesday’s 14-point win at New York. Milwaukee trailed by 10 points in the first quarter, but the Bucks used an 18-2 run midway through the second to open a 44-37 lead.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers were unable to win without LeBron James. The Lakers forward sat out with a strained left hamstring as the Kings pulled out a 117-116 win on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Bogdan Bogdanovic (bahg-DAH’-noh-vihch). De’Aaron Fox contributed 15 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, while Bogdanovic had a team-high 23 points.

UNDATED (AP) — Jonathan Taylor ran for 205 yards and a touchdown as Wisconsin ripped Miami, 35-3 in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Charlie Brewer’s 52-yard touchdown pass to Marques Jones broke a tie with under two minutes to play in Baylor’s 45-38 victory over Vanderbilt in the Texas Bowl. Duke has won the Independence Bowl as Daniel Jones threw for 423 yards and five touchdowns in the Blue Devils’ 56-27 rout of Temple.

UNDATED (AP) — The Lightning wasted a 5-2 lead in the third period before Alex Killorn tallied 18 seconds into overtime to give Tampa Bay a 6-5 win against the Flyers. Steven Stamkos had two goals and two assists, while Nikita Kucherov (KOO’-cheh-rahv) added a goal and three assists to help the Lightning improve to 12-0-1 in their last 13 games. Kucherov has five goals and 14 assists during a nine-game point streak that has allowed him to become the first NHL player to reach 60 points this season.

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