Harden ties Kobe’s MSG opponent mark, scores career-best 61
NEW YORK (AP) — James Harden scored a career-high 61 points, tying Kobe Bryant’s record for a visiting opponent at the current Madison Square Garden, and the Houston Rockets edged the New York Knicks 114-110 on Wednesday night.
Harden made the clinching layup with 3.8 seconds remaining after the Knicks turned it over, capping his fifth 50-point game this season and a wild stretch of back-and-forth basketball across the final minutes.
Eric Gordon made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 9.8 seconds left when Houston couldn’t get the ball to Harden, the NBA’s leading scorer who earlier had passed Wilt Chamberlain into fourth place in NBA history with his 21st consecutive 30-point game. Harden finished 17 of 38 from the floor. He was only 5 of 20 on 3-pointers, but was 22 of 25 from the line and grabbed 15 rebounds.
Carmelo Anthony holds the overall record at the current MSG with 62 points.
Rookie Allonzo Trier scored a season-high 31 points for the Knicks, who lost their seventh straight.
PACERS 110, RAPTORS 106
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Victor Oladipo suffered a serious right knee injury that could alter the season for the Indiana Pacers, who beat the Toronto Raptors.
The All-Star guard crumpled to the ground with 4:05 left in the second quarter as he tried to defend an outlet pass to Toronto’s Pascal Siakam. The magnitude of the injury was apparent almost immediately. Trainers draped a towel over the leg, and players from both teams surrounded Oladipo as he remained down. No replays were shown on the video screen that stretches from free-throw line to free-throw line.
Fans began chanting his name and gave him a standing ovation as he was carted off on a stretcher. Team officials later said Oladipo was scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday.
Thaddeus Young had 23 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Pacers, who won their third straight and snapped a five-game losing streak to the Raptors.
Toronto was led by Serge Ibaka with 23 points and 11 rebounds and Kyle Lowry with 20 points.
NETS 114, MAGIC 110
D’Angelo Russell had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds, Spencer Dinwiddie scored 29 points, and the Brooklyn Nets edged the Orlando Magic for their fifth straight victory.
Orlando had a chance to tie it at 112 with 3.1 seconds left in regulation, but Nikola Vucevic’s basket was waved off after replay review confirmed that the Magic center had actually tipped in the ball while it was still on the rim after Evan Fournier had beaten Brooklyn’s Jarrett Allen to the hoop.
Russell, who also had seven assists, hit a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds remaining to seal it for the Nets, who have won seven consecutive games at the Barclays Center. DeMarre Carroll added 19 points for Brooklyn.
Vucevic had a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds for the Magic, who have lost eight of their last 11. D.J. Augustin added 19 points and Jonathan Isaac scored 16.
CELTICS 123, CAVALIERS 103
BOSTON (AP) — Terry Rozier scored 22 of his 26 points in the first half and the Celtics coasted to their fifth straight victory with a win over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers.
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points, Gordon Hayward 18 and Jayson Tatum 15 for Boston, which won its 10th straight at home. Rozier, who added eight rebounds and six assists, started in place of the ill Kyrie Irving and shot 6 for 6 and scored 16 points in the opening quarter.
The final score was changed after the game to 123-103 from 125-103, with a basket taken away after originally being credited to Tatum due to a computer glitch. The NBA reviewed the tape and said the basket never occurred in the fourth quarter.
Cedi Osman led the Cavaliers with 25 points and eight rebounds. Cleveland has lost five in a row and 17 of its last 18.
CLIPPERS 111, HEAT 99
MIAMI (AP) — Tobias Harris scored 22 of his 31 points in the first half, and the Los Angeles Clippers clamped down on defense after intermission to beat the Heat.
Montrezl Harrell scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter for the Clippers, who outscored Miami 44-26 in the first 20 minutes of the second half. Lou Williams added 13 points and Avery Bradley scored 12.
Harris also had seven rebounds and six assists for the Clippers.
Hassan Whiteside finished with 22 points and 16 rebounds for Miami. Josh Richardson scored 17, Tyler Johnson added 15 and Dwyane Wade scored 13 for the Heat.
HAWKS 121, BULLS 101
CHICAGO (AP) — John Collins scored a career-high 35 points, Trae Young had 12 assists and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Bulls.
Collins was 14 for 16 from the field as Atlanta kicked off a season-high, seven-game road trip with its first victory against Chicago in two years, stopping a five-game slide against the Bulls. Jeremy Lin, Young’s backup, had 15 points, and Dewayne Dedmon finished with 14.
Chicago lost for the 11th time in its last 12 games. Zach LaVine scored 23 points, and Lauri Markkanen had 22 in the opener of a three-game homestand.
The Bulls trimmed a 20-point deficit all the way down to six when Markkanen made a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer. But the Hawks pulled away with an 11-2 run at the end of the third quarter.
HORNETS 118, GRIZZLIES 107
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Kemba Walker had 22 points and seven assists, Nicolas Batum scored 18 points, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Memphis Grizzlies for their fourth win in five games.
Jeremy Lamb and Tony Parker had 17 points each for Charlotte.
The game was the first since Grizzlies owner Robert Pera informed cornerstones Mike Conley and Marc Gasol they may be traded. The two Memphis stars did their jobs — Gasol with a triple-double on 22 points, 17 rebounds and 10 assists, and Conley adding 31 points — but the Grizzlies couldn’t get closer than eight points in the fourth quarter.
The loss was the seventh straight for the Grizzlies and 13th in the past 14.
PISTONS 98, PELICANS 94
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Blake Griffin scored 20 of his game-high 37 points in the first quarter, and Reggie Bullock grabbed a loose ball and slammed home a dunk with 14.5 seconds left to lift the Detroit Pistons over the Pelicans.
Reggie Jackson added 17 points for the Pistons, who withstood a late rally by New Orleans to stop a two-game skid.
Jrue Holiday scored 29 points and Jahlil Okafor added 17 for the Pelicans, who have lost four of six and were playing without star forward Anthony Davis. Davis missed his second straight game with a fracture of his left index finger.
The Pistons led 95-87 with 1:32 remaining, but New Orleans cut the deficit to 95-92 on a drive by Jrue Holiday and a 3-pointer by Darius Miller with 52.5 seconds left. Frank Jackson missed a 3-point attempt to tie it, and Holiday tapped the ball out front, where Bullock picked it up and dribbled the length of the floor for the game-sealing dunk.
76ERS 122, SPURS 120
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Joel Embiid had 33 points and 19 rebounds, and the Philadelphia 76ers used a pair of four-point plays in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Spurs.
With a Sixers crowd chanting “MVP!” each time Embiid touched the ball, the All-Star center delivered a sensational performance. He even scored 16 straight points that kept the Sixers in the game. Landry Shamet ended Embiid’s personal run with a four-point play that pulled the Sixers within one.
After the Spurs nudged ahead, Shamet hit a 3 to make it a three-point game and JJ Redick gave the Sixers a 121-120 lead with 1 minute left after he converted Philadelphia’s second four-point play of the fourth. The Spurs blew their chances to win: Philadelphia had a shot-clock violation but DeMar DeRozan had his shot blocked by Wilson Chandler. Corey Brewer went 1 of 2 from the free-throw line for a 122-120 lead with 1.1 seconds left. San Antonio’s final shot at sending the game into overtime was denied when Ben Simmons broke up an inbound pass headed for Marco Belinelli.
DeRozan, who sat out the final possession, led the Spurs with 26 points.
JAZZ 114, NUGGETS 108
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Donovan Mitchell scored 35 points while making a season-high six 3-pointers to lead the Utah Jazz past the Denver Nuggets.
Ricky Rubio added 17 points and six assists, Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 11 rebounds, Joe Ingles added 14 points and eight assists and Jae Crowder had 15 points for Utah, which won for the ninth time in 11 games after hitting 19 3-pointers.
Nikola Jokic scored 28 points and had 21 rebounds and six assists to lead the Nuggets, whose two-game winning streak ended despite shooting 42 of 88 — 48 percent — from the field. Will Barton added 22 points and a season-high nine rebounds.
The game got a bit heated early when Utah’s Derrick Favors and Denver’s Mason Plumlee were both ejected with 2:46 left in the first quarter. The two shoved each either under the Nuggets basket, leading to more shoving from multiple players on both teams. Favors and Plumlee each received a technical foul, as did Utah’s Royce O’Neale and Denver’s Will Barton for pushing and shoving in the scrum.