Houston Rockets

A sweet 16 for the red-hot Rockets

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A sweet 16 for the red-hot Rockets

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Chris Paul scored 25 points and the Houston Rockets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 122-112 on Tuesday night for their 16th straight win.

James Harden had 23 points and 11 assists, and Trevor Ariza added 15 points for the Rockets, who are on the second-longest win streak in franchise history.

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points and Carmelo Anthony added 23 for Oklahoma City, which is in a logjam of teams trying to fight their way into third place in the West.

Oklahoma City had beaten several of the league's top teams this season. The Thunder have two wins over Golden State, a victory over Toronto and a win over Cleveland this season. The Rockets avoided that fate by going 17 of 33 on 3-pointers and 29 of 34 on free throws.

The Rockets led 54-45 at halftime as Harden posted 13 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Anthony had 19 points for the Thunder and Westbrook had 14, but All-Star Paul George went 1 for 7 from the field before the break.

The Thunder closed the gap to three in the opening minutes of the third quarter, but the Rockets dominated the rest of the way and led 87-74 at the end of the period. Houston made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the quarter.

Houston extended its lead to 19 midway through the fourth quarter (see full recap).

Beal, Wizards catch fire from deep in OT victory
WASHINGTON -- Bradley Beal scored 30 points on 12-of-16 shooting and the Washington Wizards had their best 3-point shooting night of the season in a 117-113 victory over the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Beal went 6 of 7 from beyond the arc, leading a Washington team that finished 14 for 24 there while snapping its first three-game losing streak of the season.

Tomas Satoransky added 19 points and Markieff Morris had 16 points and 13 rebounds. Morris' baseline 3-pointer off Beal's feed made it 113-109 with 1:06 left in overtime.

The fifth-place Wizards improved to 11-6 in their extended stretch without All-Star point guard John Wall as he recovers from knee surgery. They moved within a half-game of Indiana and maintained a one-game lead on Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference.

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points but missed on a potential game-tying jumper with 4.1 seconds left in overtime for Miami.

Tyler Johnson added 21 points for the Heat, who lost for the second time in six games to fall back into eighth place, a half-game behind Milwaukee (see full recap).

Raptors run over Hawks for 5th straight win
TORONTO -- DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Jonas Valanciunas had 15 and the Toronto Raptors beat the Atlanta Hawks 106-90 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

C.J. Miles added 14 points, and Delon Wright and Serge Ibaka each had 10 as the Eastern Conference leaders won for the 12th time in 13 games and completed their first season sweep of the Hawks since 2001-02.

The Raptors are 27-5 at home, the best record in the NBA. Toronto, which trailed by one to begin the fourth quarter, improved to 4-16 when behind through three.

Toronto outscored Atlanta 30-13 in the fourth. The Hawks shot 6 for 18 in the quarter and committed eight turnvoers.

Kent Bazemore and John Collins each scored 15 points and Dewayne Dedmon had 12 points and 10 rebounds, but the Hawks lost for the sixth time in eight games.

The Hawks are 5-26 on the road (see full recap).

Rockets fly to 15th straight win by beating Celtics

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Rockets fly to 15th straight win by beating Celtics

HOUSTON -- 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 to give Houston the win (see full recap).

Harris scores 32 as Nuggets roll LeBron, Cavs 
CLEVELAND -- Gary Harris scored 32 points, Will Barton added 23 and the Denver Nuggets did most of their damage behind the 3-point arc in a 126-117 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

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.

More troublesome, though, is the Cavs' defense or lack of it. Whenever Denver needed a big basket, the Nuggets got it by making the extra pass and exploiting holes in Cleveland's defense (see full recap).

Ball, Randle rally Lakers past Spurs late
SAN ANTONIO -- Lonzo Ball hit a career-best six 3-pointers, Julius Randle had 25 points and the Los Angeles Lakers rallied in the final two minutes to beat the San Antonio Spurs 116-112 on Saturday night.

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 (see full recap).

Rockets make sure win streak stays on the rise

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Rockets make sure win streak stays on the rise

LOS ANGELES -- James Harden scored 17 of his 25 points in Houston's dominant first quarter, and the Rockets rolled past the Los Angeles Clippers 105-92 on Wednesday night for their 14th consecutive victory.

The Rockets (48-13) matched their longest winning streak of the season and remained a half-game ahead of Golden State for the NBA's best record.

Clint Capela and Eric Gordon each scored 22 points for the Rockets, who made 13 3-pointers.

Tobias Harris led the Clippers with 24 points, with Montrezl Harrell added 22. Lou Williams and Milos Teodosic each scored 13.

The Clippers played the previous night in Denver and looked it.

They missed 16 of their first 19 shots, had 11 turnovers and trailed by as many as 27 points in the first quarter. Harden faked Wesley Johnson so badly on one move that Johnson fell to the floor. Harden stared at him as Johnson got back up, then sunk a 3-pointer for a 31-7 lead.

The Clippers shot 22.7 percent (5 of 22) for the period and trailed 34-12 at the end of the quarter.

The Clippers overcame a 19-point deficit to win in Denver on Tuesday, but never got closer than eight against the Rockets.

Schroder, lowly Hawks hold off Pacers
ATLANTA -- Dennis Schroder scored seven of Atlanta's final eight points to finish with 14, and the Hawks held off a late Indiana comeback to beat the Pacers 107-102 on Wednesday night.

John Collins had 16 points for the Hawks, who led by 23 before holding on late to end their four-game losing streak.

Bojan Bogdanovic led Indiana with 26 points while making four 3-pointers in the final period. His third 3 of the period cut the Atlanta lead to 97-91. A follow shot by Domantas Sabonis, who had 14 points, pulled the Pacers to 101-99.

Schroder answered with a layup with 44 seconds remaining, and then added another driving layup following an Indiana turnover.

Taurean Prince had 15 points, all in the first half, and Dewayne Dedmon also scored 15 for Atlanta (see full recap).

Streaking Pelicans rally after Aldridge injury
SAN ANTONIO -- Anthony Davis had 26 points and 15 rebounds, and the New Orleans Pelicans rallied in the final two minutes to beat San Antonio 121-116 on Wednesday night, adding to the Spurs' misery after losing LaMarcus Aldridge to an injury in the first half.

New Orleans won its seventh straight after trailing by as many as 15 points.

San Antonio, which has been without superstar forward Kawhi Leonard for all but nine games this season, lost Aldridge to a sprained right ankle late in the first half. Aldridge landed awkwardly while defending a driving hook shot by Davis with three minutes left in the second quarter.

The injury would prove critical down the stretch for the Spurs, who've lost five of their past six. The team did not immediately disclose how long Aldridge will be out.

Jrue Holiday finished with 25 points and Rajon Rondo added 13 points and 12 assists for the Pelicans.

San Antonio had six players in double figures, including 19 from Rudy Gay and 18 from Dejounte Murray (see full recap).