Rockets extend streak to 15 with 123-120 win over Celtics
HOUSTON (AP) — Eric Gordon scored 29 points off the bench, James Harden had 26 points and 10 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Boston Celtics 123-120 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to a season-high 15 games.
Houston trailed by six before using a 10-2 run, with the last five points coming from Trevor Ariza, to take a 117-115 lead with 1:16 remaining. Ariza made a 3-pointer before stealing the ball from Kyrie Irving and finishing with a basket on the other end to cap the run.
Al Horford missed shots on Boston’s next two possessions before Chris Paul made two free throws with 15 seconds left to push the lead to four. Irving made a layup seconds later, but Harden made one of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left to make it 120-117.
Irving and Paul hit two free throws each before Irving made one and purposely missed the second with 2.8 seconds left. Gordon made one of two free throws to make it 123-120 with 2.3 seconds remaining, and Marcus Smart’s 3-point attempt bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
CAVALIERS 126, NUGGETS 117
CLEVELAND (AP) — Gary Harris scored 32 points, Will Barton added 23 and Denver did most of its damage behind the 3-point arc in a win over LeBron James and Cleveland.
The Nuggets made 19 of 35 3-pointers, including three in the final 2:26, to hold off a second-half charge from the Cavs, who are struggling as they try to blend in four new players on the fly.
James finished with 25 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds — his 13th triple-double this season — but Cleveland’s lack of a dependable No. 2 scorer with Kevin Love out with a broken left hand continues to be a major problem.
J.R. Smith scored 19 points — all in the second half — in his return from a one-game suspension for throwing a bowl of soup on Cavs assistant coach Damon Jones.
LAKERS 116, SPURS 112
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lonzo Ball hit a career-best six 3-pointers, Julius Randle had 25 points and Los Angeles rallied in the final two minutes to beat San Antonio.
Ball made three shots from beyond the arc in the final three minutes to give the Lakers their fifth straight victory. Ball finished with 18 points, and Isaiah Thomas added 21 points.
The Spurs lost their second straight game in which they never trailed until the final two minutes.
Ball’s fourth 3-pointer cut San Antonio’s lead to 105-104, and Randle made two free throws to give Los Angeles its first lead at 106-105 with 1:59 remaining. After a jumper by Pau Gasol, Ball hit another 3 to give the Lakers a 109-107 advantage with 1:15 remaining. After Gasol made two free throws to tie it, Ball hit another 3 to stun the Spurs’ fans and electrify a large Lakers’ contingent.
HEAT 105, PISTONS 96
MIAMI (AP) — Kelly Olynyk and Josh Richardson each scored 17 points, and Miami enhanced its playoff hopes with a win over Detroit.
James Johnson scored 14 points, Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow each had 13 and Dwyane Wade added 11 for Miami. Hassan Whiteside grabbed 19 rebounds for the Heat, who won for only the fourth time in their last 13 games.
Blake Griffin scored 31 points and Andre Drummond finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who were playing their fifth game in seven nights — four of those on the road.
Reggie Bullock scored 11 points for the Pistons, who have lost eight of their last 10 overall — and 13 of their last 14 on the road.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, THUNDER 100
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — CJ McCollum scored 28 points, Damian Lillard had 20 and Portland won its sixth straight game with a victory over Oklahoma City.
Rookie forward Zach Collins added 12 points for the Blazers, part of a close cluster in the Western Conference standings that includes the Thunder, Spurs and Timberwolves.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, but the loss snapped a three-game winning streak. Paul George added 21 points.
JAZZ 98, KINGS 91
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored eight of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Utah beat Sacramento.
Rudy Gobert had another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Derrick Favors scored 15 to lead Utah to its fifth consecutive win in Sacramento.
The Jazz, who beat Minnesota on Friday, have back-to-back victories for the first time since their 11-game winning streak was snapped by Portland on Feb. 23.
MAGIC 107, GRIZZLIES 100
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Evan Fournier broke a tie on a long 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left, and Orlando rookie Jonathan Isaac helped preserve the lead with his third block of the game in a win that stretched Memphis’ losing streak to 13 games.
Fournier added two free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining to finish with 19 points. Nikola Vucevic also scored 19 for Orlando, which had six players in double figures.
Ben McLemore scored a game-high 20 for Memphis, which has the NBA’s longest skid of the season. Jarell Martin added 19 points and 11 rebounds.