5:20am 8th January 2019.
(Updated at 8:01am 8th January 2019)
James Harden’s 32-point, 14-assist double-double helped the Houston Rockets snap the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets’ five-game winning streak.
Denver Nuggets 113-125 Houston Rockets
James Harden produced another sparkling double-double but this time received plenty of help as the Houston Rockets extended their home-court winning streak to 10 games with a 125-113 victory over the Western Conference-leading Denver Nuggets on Monday night.
Harden paired 32 points with 14 assists. The Rockets also received a career-high 31 points from center Clint Capela (plus nine rebounds) and 21 points apiece from PJ Tucker and Gerald Green.
Houston finished 22-of-47 from behind the three-point arc to outflank the Nuggets, who had a five-game winning streak snapped and lost to the Rockets for the second time this season.
The Rockets bounced back after having their six-game win streak end on Saturday against the Trail Blazers.
Nikola Jokic paced Denver with 24 points and 13 rebounds while Monte Morris (21 points) and Malik Beasley (14) provided support off the bench. Jamal Murray added 13 points and backcourt mate Gary Harris 14 in his first starting appearance since returning from a prolonged injury absence.
Utah Jazz 102-114 Milwaukee Bucks
Giannis Antetokounmpo recorded 30 points and 10 rebounds to help the Milwaukee Bucks register a 114-102 win over the visiting Utah Jazz.
Malcolm Brogdon added 21 points for the Bucks, who won for the 10th time in their past 12 games.
Brook Lopez contributed 15 points and eight rebounds, Thon Maker also scored 15 and Khris Middleton had 14 points and seven rebounds as Milwaukee defeated Utah for the second straight time after losing the previous seven meetings.
Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points for the Jazz but missed all five shots while going scoreless in the fourth quarter. Rudy Gobert added 14 points and 15 rebounds, Jae Crowder and Derrick Favors scored 12 points each and Raul Neto had 10 points.
Utah point guard Ricky Rubio scored nine points on 4-of-5 shooting in the first 4:37 before exiting the contest with a hamstring injury.
Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 Dallas Mavericks
The Los Angeles Lakers put together a dominant third quarter to rally from a 15-point deficit and defeat the host Dallas Mavericks 107-97.
Brandon Ingram scored a season-high 29 points, Lonzo Ball had 21 and Michael Beasley, with 13 points, was a key contributor in a third quarter that the Lakers won 32-13.
Los Angeles earned just their second victory in seven games playing without injured star LeBron James.
Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, and coming off an embarrassing blowout loss at Minnesota on Sunday, the Lakers were down 11-3 early and shot poorly throughout the first half.
However, they emerged from the locker room with newfound energy and flipped a 67-54 half-time deficit into an 86-80 lead they would not relinquish.
Two JaVale McGee dunks and then a beautiful Ingram drive and layup to make it 106-97 with 1:03 to go sealed Los Angeles’ third consecutive win over Dallas this season.
Mavs rookie Luka Doncic finished with a team-high 27 points and grabbed eight rebounds. No other Mavs player had more than 11 points.
Brooklyn Nets 95-116 Boston Celtics
Marcus Smart drained three-pointers on consecutive possessions in the first quarter to begin a game-changing run by the host Boston Celtics, who went on to beat the Brooklyn Nets 116-95.
The Celtics have won three straight and four of five. The Nets, who were trying to reach .500 beyond the midway point of the season for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign, had a three-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the fourth time in the last 16 games.
Kylie Irving, who returned after missing two games with a left eye injury, scored 17 points to lead a balanced Celtics attack. Seven other players scored in double figures for Boston, with 16 points by Jayson Tatum and 12 apiece by Smart, Marcus Morris, Al Horford and Gordon Hayward.
Rookie Rodions Kurucs scored 24 points and drained five three-pointers for the Nets, one shy of the franchise’s rookie single-game record.
Kenneth Faried (13 points, 12 rebounds) had a double-double before exiting in the final minutes with what appeared to be an ankle injury.
San Antonio Spurs 119-107 Detroit Pistons
DeMar DeRozan had 26 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and Gregg Popovich continued his climb up the NBA’s career wins list as the visiting San Antonio Spurs defeated the Detroit Pistons 119-107.
Popovich earned the 1,221st victory of his career, tying him with Jerry Sloan for third on the NBA’s all-time list among coaches. The 23rd-year Spurs coach trails only Don Nelson (1,335) and Lenny Wilkens (1,332).
The Spurs opened the second quarter on a 12-0 run to take a 37-31 lead with 8:36 remaining in the period before reaching half-time with a 59-51 lead.
Detroit rallied, cutting San Antonio’s lead to 88-81 with 9:46 left in the game, but the momentum would be short-lived for the Pistons. San Antonio responded with an 8-1 run and weren’t seriously threatened the rest of the way.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points on nine of 12 shooting for the Spurs, who have won five straight and six of their last seven.
Blake Griffin had 34 points and eight assists, and Andre Drummond had 19 points and 14 rebounds in defeat for the Pistons, who have lost five of their last six games.
Memphis Grizzlies 95-114 New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis erupted for 36 points and 13 rebounds as the host New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 114-95.
The Pelicans handed the Grizzlies their sixth consecutive loss. It’s the first time New Orleans have won consecutive games since mid-November.
Frank Jackson came off the bench to add 17 points, Julius Randle scored 15 points, Jrue Holiday had 13 and Elfrid Payton 11 for the Pelicans.
Mike Conley led Memphis with 22 points and 10 assists, JaMychal Green came off the bench to score 16 and Jaren Jackson Jr had 12.
New Orleans made just six of 17 three-pointers (35.3 per cent), but shot 55.7 per cent (44 of 79) on field goals despite playing without starting forwards Nikola Mirotic (ankle) and E’Twaun Moore (leg).
Orlando Magic 95-111 Sacramento Kings
De’Aaron Fox led a balanced attack with 20 points as the host Sacramento Kings followed up a record-setting shooting performance with one of their best defensive efforts of the season in a 111-95 victory over the travel-weary Orlando Magic.
The Kings limited the Magic to 36.8 per cent shooting and the third-lowest scoring output for a Sacramento opponent this season en route to their second straight season-series sweep of Orlando.
Terrence Ross came off the bench to score 20 points for the Magic, who were playing their fifth straight on the road and second in two days, having lost to the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday.
The Kings led 29-25 after one quarter before taking command for good with a 9-0 run to open the second period. The margin swelled to 21 later in the second quarter and to 29 in the third before the Kings coasted home to snap a four-game losing streak.
Fox’s 20 points game on 9-for-14 shooting. Bogdan Bogdanovic contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to the win, while Willie Cauley-Stein had an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double.
Nikola Vucevic put up an 18-point, 13-rebound double-double for the Magic.
New York Knicks 101-111 Portland Trail Blazers
Jusuf Nurkic scored 20 points to lead six players in double figures as the Portland Trail Blazers swept to a 111-101 victory over the visiting New York Knicks.
CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard both added 17 points and Lillard had nine assists for the Trail Blazers, who won for the ninth time in 13 games.
Enes Kanter came off the bench for 18 points and 14 rebounds, Emmanuel Mudiay scored 17 points and Noah Vonleh contributed 16 points and 13 boards for the Knicks, who have lost in 14 of their last 16 outings.
Nurkic and McCollum each scored nine points as the Trail Blazers took a 54-53 lead into half-time. Mario Hezonja came off the bench for 14 points for the Knicks, while Trey Burke added 10.
Portland scored the first nine points of the third quarter to gain a 63-53 edge. The Blazers increased the margin to 86-68 late in the quarter. The Knicks closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to get to within 86-76.
The Blazers extended their cushion to 100-82 midway through the fourth quarter. The Knicks got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.