(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of National Basketball Association games on Friday:
Rockets 124, Spurs 109
Chris Paul delivered an impressive two-way performance and the Houston Rockets rolled to a 124-109, wire-to-wire win over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night at Toyota Center.
Paul finished with 28 points, eight assists and seven steals as the Rockets, who are unbeaten with Paul in the lineup this season, extended their winning streak to 12 games in large part courtesy of an early 3-point barrage.
All five Rockets starters scored in double figures, with James Harden adding 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Clint Capela (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Ryan Anderson (12 points, 10 rebounds) had double-doubles for the Rockets, who are 13-0 with Paul in the lineup.
The Spurs pulled their starters in the third quarter, with LaMarcus Aldridge (16 points) leading that group with just 27 minutes. Kawhi Leonard, playing in just his second game after a quad injury, did not play after the break after scoring 12 points in the first half.
Nuggets 117, Pelicans 111 (OT)
Will Barton scored 11 of his 19 points in overtime in his return to the lineup, and Denver rallied from 18 points down to beat New Orleans.
Gary Harris had 21 points, Trey Lyles scored 14 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Nikola Jokic had 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Nuggets in his first game back after missing seven with a sprained left ankle.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 29 points, Anthony Davis had 28 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks, and Jrue Holiday scored 25 points for the Pelicans.
Thunder 119, 76ers 117 (3OT)
Russell Westbrook registered 27 points, 17 rebounds and 15 assists and Oklahoma City outlasted Philadelphia in three overtimes.
Westbrook shot 10 of 33 yet managed to notch his 10th triple-double of the season and the 89th of his career. Paul George and Carmelo Anthony scored 24 points apiece for the Thunder, who earned their third straight road win. It was also their 17th consecutive win over the Sixers.
Joel Embiid led the Sixers with 34 points while playing a career-high 48 minutes. J.J. Redick scored 19 points and Dario Saric added 16. Jerryd Bayless had 14 points and Ben Simmons had 12 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds.
Jazz 107, Celtics 95
Utah lost two starters to injury in the first half but ended a four-game losing streak by stunning Boston.
Utah starters Rudy Gobert (knee) and Derrick Favors (left eye laceration, six stitches) left the game, with Gobert departing before it was two minutes old.
Ricky Rubio had 22 points, seven rebounds and five assists, and rookie Donovan Mitchell scored eight straight points for his team late and finished with 17 points, nine assists and six rebounds.
Kyrie Irving had 33 points, six assists and four rebounds for Boston. Al Horford, who returned from a one-game absence with a sore knee, added 21 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
Wizards 100, Clippers 91
Mike Scott matched his season high with 22 points off the bench and Bradley Beal had 20 points and 11 rebounds as Washington overcame its latest uneven performance by beating Los Angeles.
John Wall had 15 points in 29 minutes in his second consecutive game after sitting out nine in a row following injections in his knee to help with inflammation. Scott sank 9 of 10 shots from the field.
Lou Williams had 23 points and Jawun Evans scored 15 for the Clippers. Los Angeles had won three in a row, starting with a 113-112 win over the Wizards on Dec. 9. DeAndre Jordan finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.
Pistons 104, Pacers 98
Andre Drummond had 23 points and 13 rebounds as Detroit held off Indiana.
The Pacers rallied from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to get within 100-98 in the final two minutes, but the Pistons regrouped as Reggie Jackson hit two key free throws to make it 102-98 with 18.1 seconds remaining. Drummond then blocked Victor Oladipo’s step-back 3-point attempt on the next possession to seal the win.
Oladipo led Indiana with 26 points and eight rebounds. Myles Turner had 24 points and eight rebounds.
Heat 104, Hornets 98
Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington came off the bench to score 16 points apiece, and Miami beat Charlotte.
The Heat built a 17-point lead in the fourth quarter and then held off a Charlotte rally in the final six minutes. The Hornets got as close as two in the final two minutes, but Dion Waiters hit a 15-footer with 1:08 left to push the lead to 102-98. Goran Dragic later hit two free throws with 9.0 seconds remaining to push the lead to six.
Waiters finished with 12 points on a night when the Heat shot 50 percent from the field. Josh Richardson, James Johnson, Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo scored 11 points each. Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 25 points. Dwight Howard had 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Raptors 120, Nets 87
Kyle Lowry posted his 11th career triple-double and DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points as Toronto defeated Brooklyn.
Lowry had 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds as the Raptors won their second game in a row and the eighth in their past nine. The Nets lost their second in a row. The Raptors have defeated the Nets in the past nine meetings between the teams.
Serge Ibaka added 18 points and eight rebounds for Toronto, Jonas Valanciunas contributed 14 points and Jakob Poeltl and Norman Powell scored 11 each. Nik Stauskas had 22 points and seven rebounds off the bench for Brooklyn.
Trail Blazers 95, Magic 88
Damian Lillard scored 21 points and CJ McCollum added 20 as Portland handed Orlando its fourth straight loss.
Al-Farouq Aminu added 15 points as the Trail Blazers swept the season series. Nikola Vucevic led an injury-wrecked Orlando team with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while Jonathon Simmons and D.J. Augustin added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Aaron Gordon, who returned to the Magic after missing three games with a concussion, had 13 points before leaving the game midway through the fourth quarter with a right calf strain.
Bulls 115, Bucks 109
Bobby Portis scored 27 points and Chicago extended its winning streak to five games by beating Milwaukee.
Only one of Chicago’s starting five failed to score in double figures as Nikola Mirotic added 22, Robin Lopez scored 18 and Kris Dunn finished with 17 for the Bulls, who shot 48.8 percent from the field and made eight of 22 attempts from beyond the arc.
Khris Middleton and Giannis Antetokounmpo led Milwaukee with 29 points apiece but Middleton went 2-for-8 from distance while the Bucks were 9-for-32 as a team despite matching the Bulls by shooting 48 percent overall.
Grizzlies 96, Hawks 94
Guard Tyreke Evans scored 22 points and made a driving layup with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter to give Memphis the victory over Atlanta.
Marc Gasol (13 points, six rebounds and five assists) scored all his points in the third quarter as the Grizzlies broke a five-game losing streak and won for just the second time in their last 18 games. Atlanta has lost four in a row and six of the last seven games.
Kent Bazemore led Atlanta 19 points, five assists and three steals. Dennis Schroeder had 18 points and 11 assists and Taurean Prince finished with 17 points.