Best of NBA: Shorthanded Nets beat Thunder in Mexico City

USA Today Images

Best of NBA: Shorthanded Nets beat Thunder in Mexico City

MEXICO CITY -- Caris Levert scored 19 points, Rondae Hollis-Jefferson added 17 and short-handed Brooklyn overcame another strong performance by Russell Westbrook to beat the Oklahoma Thunder 100-95 on Thursday night in the first of the Nets' two games in Mexico City.

Westbrook had 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists.

Allen Crabbe had 15 points for Brooklyn, playing without guards Jeremy Lin and D'Angelo Russell because of injuries and without power forward Trevor Booker after he was traded to Philadelphia before the game.

The Nets improved to 10-14 with their second straight victory and third in four games. They will play the Miami Heat on Saturday at Arena Ciudad de Mexico. The Thunder (11-13) had won three in a row.

Steven Adams added 12 points for the Thunder, and Carmelo Anthony had 11 on 5-for-20 shooting. Oklahoma City also missed key players Paul George (right calf contusion) and Jerami Grant (left hip contusion) (see full recap).

Rockets pull away from Jazz for 8th straight win
SALT LAKE CITY -- James Harden scored 29 points and Ryan Anderson added 23 to lead the Houston Rockets to a 112-101 victory over the Utah Jazz on Thursday night.

Chris Paul added 18 points, 13 assists and nine rebounds for the Rockets. Houston (19-4) won its eighth straight game and for the 14th time in 15. The Rockets improved to 8-0 with Paul in the lineup.

Donovan Mitchell had 26 points, Alec Burks added 17 and Thabo Sefolosha chipped in 14 to lead the Jazz. Utah (13-13) dropped its second straight game.

Utah played from behind throughout much of the first half after struggling with turnovers and erratic shooting. The Jazz turned it over eight times before halftime, leading to several key baskets for the Rockets.

Houston surged in front after Rudy Gobert committed back-to-back turnovers less than 2 minutes into the first quarter. Utah rallied twice to take the lead, but both runs were answered with bigger ones from the Rockets (see full recap).

Beal scores 34 points as Wizards top Suns
PHOENIX -- Bradley Beal scored 34 points to help the Washington Wizards beat the Phoenix Suns 109-99 on Thursday night.

Two nights after scoring 51 points in a victory at Portland, Beal had 22 points in the first half.

Former Sun Markieff Morris added 21 points, and the Wizards made 51 percent of their shots. Washington has won three of four.

T.J. Warren had 23 points for Phoenix. The Suns played their first game with star guard Devin Booker sidelined with a groin injury. Booker is expected to miss two to three weeks with the left adductor strain. He was hurt Tuesday night in Toronto.

Phoenix cut Washington's lead to two at 98-96 on Alex Len's dunk with 5:46 to play. The Suns missed two chances to draw even, and Washington outscored them 11-3 the rest of the way (see full recap).

Raiders rally for win over Texans in Mexico on Monday Night Football

Raiders rally for win over Texans in Mexico on Monday Night Football


MEXICO CITY -- The party in the stands started early in the second NFL regular season game ever played in Mexico with loud cheers and chants from before kickoff until the final whistle. The Oakland offense took a little longer to get going, but once they did Derek Carr and the Raiders came out with yet another win.

Carr woke up a struggling offense by throwing two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as the Raiders capped a successful trip to Mexico with a 27-20 victory over the Houston Texans on Monday night.

"We got punched in the mouth," Carr said. "We weren't doing things the way we usually want to do things executing wise. But there was no doubt in anybody's mind that we'd come back and win the football game."

Oakland had been held to 120 yards through three quarters with the running game going nowhere and Carr finding few open receivers downfield. But that suddenly changed in the fourth quarter to give the Raiders (8-2) their fourth straight win for the first time since 2002 .

With star receiver Amari Cooper lined up in the backfield, Carr found fullback Jamize Olawale open for a 75-yard catch and run that tied Houston (6-4) at 20.

"We felt like that was the momentum shifter," Cooper said.

Then Oakland took advantage on two questionable spots by the officials to take over on downs at the 15 and drove 85 yards in five plays to take the lead on a 35-yard pass to Cooper to send the Texans to their fourth loss in five games outside of Houston.

"Very tough loss," defensive lineman Jadaveon Clowney said. "We should have won the game, we are trying to win every game. You don't leave the game in the ref's hands."

That set off loud celebrations from the pro-Raiders crowd of 76,743 in the second regular season game ever played in Mexico. What was originally scheduled as an Oakland home game featured Raiders music during stoppages, Tommie Smith lighting the Al Davis torch in a memorable return to Mexico City nearly a half-century after his Black Power salute at the 1968 Olympics and frequent "RAI-DERS!" chants.

While the atmosphere was electric, the field was a bit slippery leading to some falls and the high elevation 7,380 feet above sea level played a factor. The Raiders needed to use a timeout on defense at one point in the fourth to catch their breath and receiver Michael Crabtree was seen gasping for breath at one point.

"To be able to play here was amazing," Carr said. "There's so much history, so much rowdiness. I love soccer and it gave me a kind of soccer feel."

Close spots
The Texans were upset on two spots on the fourth-quarter drive before Oakland went ahead. On third-and-2, Lamar Miller was stopped just short of the first down even though Houston believed he got it. Coach Bill O'Brien went for it on fourth down but Akeem Hunt was stopped about an inch short on fourth down and the play stood after a replay challenge.

Laser show
Houston QB Brock Osweiler had to deal with an unusual distraction during the game as a fan with a green laser frequently shined it on the Houston quarterback as he dropped back to pass in an act more familiar in soccer games played here than in NFL games. That wasn't the only soccer tradition imported for this game. Fans also used a homophobic chant on kickoffs. Mexico's soccer federation has been punished by FIFA in the past for the chant during World Cup qualifiers. Fans threw paper airplanes on the field in the third quarter with Oakland's Sean Smith taking a turn throwing one that reached the field during a break.

Streak broken
Carr had thrown 170 straight passes without an interception before getting picked by A.J. Bouye on a deep ball on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. It was Carr's fourth interception of the season and the first since Kansas City's Marcus Peters got one Oct. 16.

International scorer
With his extra point in the second quarter, Oakland's Sebastian Janikowski scored a point in his third country, having previously done it in the United States and United Kingdom. Joe Nedney is the only other player to score in Mexico, the U.S. and the U.K. Five other players have scored in Canada, the U.K. and the U.S.: running back Steven Jackson and kickers Robbie Gould, Matt Bryant, Dan Carpenter and Jay Feely.