James Harden became the first player in NBA history to score 30+ points against all 29 opponents in a single season as he led the Houston Rockets to victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
Houston Rockets 121-105 Atlanta Hawks
James Harden supplied 31 points and 10 assists and Clint Capela added 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Houston Rockets won their third straight game with a 121-105 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.
Harden’s haul made him the first player in NBA history to score 30+ points against all 29 opponents in the same season.
Capela was 11-for-13 from the floor and continued his hot play since returning from a thumb injury that caused him to miss 15 games. The Rockets are 14-3 this season in games where Capela has scored 20-plus points.
The Rockets have won 12 of their last 13 games overall and 10 of their last 13 road games. They swept the two-game season series with the Hawks for the second straight campaign.
Harden added 31 points, sinking 11-of-12 from the line, and had 10 assists and eight rebounds. Danuel House Jr came off the bench to score 19, including six three-pointers. Chris Paul scored 13 and had 11 assists.
Atlanta got 20 points and 10 rebounds from John Collins, who posted his 30th double-double, and 21 points and 12 assists from Trae Young, the rookie’s 24th double-double. Taurean Prince added 16 points, and Vince Carter hit five three-pointers and scored 15.
Atlanta briefly took a 61-59 edge on a three-pointer by Dewayne Dedmon. But the Rockets answered with consecutive treys from PJ Tucker, Paul and Harden to regain a seven-point advantage at 6:15 in the third quarter.
Houston extended the lead to 11 on back-to-back baskets by Harden and Capela that made it 78-67 and entered the final quarter leading 84-72 and rolled to victory.
Golden State Warriors 117-107 Minnesota Timberwolves
Stephen Curry scored 36 points, including 22 in the third quarter, and Klay Thompson added 28 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a 117-107 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Minneapolis.
A night after scoring just 14 points on 5-of-18 shooting from the field in a loss at San Antonio, Thompson scored 15 points in the first period, going a perfect 5-of-5 from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc.
Minnesota trailed 59-47 entering the third quarter before going on a 14-2 run, tying the game at 61-all. That’s when Curry took over, scoring eight points in a 94-second span as the Warriors wrested control of the game.
In the middle of his prolific third-quarter scoring spree, Curry connected on his 300th three-pointer of the season to put the Warriors up 80-68. He wound up 8-of-14 on the night from long distance.
The Warriors opened up a 91-75 lead to start the fourth quarter and pushed their advantage to 101-81 on Thompson’s fourth three-pointer of the game.
However, Minnesota cut the deficit to 11 on a Josh Okogie lay-up with 4:06 left. Tyus Jones sank two free throws with 2:27 remaining and Minnesota trailed 112-103.
The Warriors turned to Curry, who connected on another trey to make the game safe.
For the 30th time this season, Golden State recorded more than 30 assists. The Warriors assisted on their first 19 baskets of the game and finished with 39 assists on 44 made buckets.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and grabbed 21 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who saw their six-game home win streak end.
Los Angeles Lakers 101-115 Milwaukee Bucks
Khris Middleton matched his season high with 30 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the Milwaukee Bucks padded their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference with a 115-101 win against the visiting Los Angeles Lakers.
Playing without leading scorer Giannis Antetokounmpo (ankle) and fellow starter Malcolm Brogdon (foot), the Bucks extended their lead over the second-place Toronto Raptors to three games with 11 left for both teams.
Brook Lopez matched his season high with 28 points, Nikola Mirotic scored 23 while starting in place of Brogdon for a second straight game and Eric Bledsoe finished with 14 points and seven assists for the Bucks.
The Lakers, who played without leading scorer LeBron James (groin), lost their fourth straight game and ninth in the past 10.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope shot 8-for-14 from three-point range and scored a season-high 35 points off the bench for the Lakers. Kyle Kuzma added 17 points, and Rajon Rondo and Reggie Bullock had 13 points apiece.
The Bucks took a 99-76 lead with 1:17 left in the third quarter and appeared headed for an easy win, but the Lakers came back with a 16-0 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters to get within seven points.
Middleton checked back in and made a short jumper to end the run, but Caldwell-Pope pulled the Lakers within five with his eighth three-pointer with 6:52 remaining. However, that was as close as Los Angeles would get.
Philadelphia 76ers 118-114 Charlotte Hornets
Ben Simmons scored 28 points and JJ Redick had 27 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Philadelphia 76ers earned their fifth straight victory, a 118-114 triumph over the host Charlotte Hornets.
Tobias Harris hit three free throws in the final 8.2 seconds and the Hornets missed a chance to tie the game when Jeremy Lamb was off target on a drive in the lane with two seconds remaining.
The Sixers were without All-Star center Joel Embiid, who was given the night off for load management. Embiid erupted for 40 points and 15 rebounds in the Sixers’ win at Milwaukee on Sunday.
The Sixers (46-25) completed a four-game season sweep of the Hornets. Their five-game winning streak is a season high.
Jimmy Butler added 23 points for the Sixers. Harris finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and James Ennis III scored 14 off the bench. The Hornets (31-39) have lost nine of their past 12 and are now three games behind the eighth-place Miami Heat for the final playoff spot.
Lamb led the Hornets with 26 points. Kemba Walker scored 21 despite sitting out the entire second quarter due to foul trouble. Frank Kaminsky scored 14, Dwayne Bacon 13, and Miles Bridges had eight points and 10 rebounds.
The Hornets led 89-85 after three quarters and the Sixers did not take the lead for good until late in the fourth quarter. A three-pointer from Butler that made it 112-109 and then Ennis hit a huge three-pointer for a 115-111 lead with 18.6 seconds remaining.
Brooklyn Nets 123-121 Sacramento Kings
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored the winning lay-up with 0.8 seconds remaining as the Brooklyn Nets overcame a 25-point fourth-quarter deficit to post a stunning 123-121 victory over the host Sacramento Kings.
D’Angelo Russell scored 27 of his career-high 44 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets outscored the Kings 45-18 to improve to 1-3 on a seven-game road trip.
Hollis-Jefferson scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and drove through the lane to convert the winning basket. Jarrett Allen scored 13 points and Spencer Dinwiddie added 10 for Brooklyn.
Marvin Bagley III scored 28 points and De’Aaron Fox had 27 points and nine assists for Sacramento. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, Nemanja Bjelica had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 10 points for the Kings.
Brooklyn looked lost before the fourth-quarter outburst from Russell got them back into the game. He scored eight points during a 10-0 portion as the Nets moved within 107-97 with 7:22 left and buried back-to-back three-pointers to pull the Nets within 116-114 with 2:08 remaining.
Russell added two more baskets, and Jared Dudley drained a three-pointer with 1:11 left to give Brooklyn a 121-119 edge. Fox made two free throws with 46.8 seconds left to tie the score before Hollis-Jefferson’s last-second basket decided the outcome.
Indiana Pacers 109-115 Los Angeles Clippers
Danilo Gallinari scored 24 points and Montrezl Harrell added 20 as the Los Angeles Clippers improved their playoff prospects with a 115-109 victory Tuesday over the visiting Indiana Pacers.
Rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander added 17 points as the Clippers moved into a tie with the Utah Jazz for the bottom spot among playoff-eligible teams in the Western Conference. The Clippers and Jazz are just seven games out of first place in a crowded Western Conference field.
After scoring just two points in the first half, Bojan Bogdanovic finished with 19 as the Pacers lost their third consecutive game, keeping their playoff-clinching celebration on hold.
Outside of an early Indiana advantage, the Clippers led throughout despite an off night from three-point range. Los Angeles, one of the best long-distance shooting teams in the NBA, shot 29.4 per cent from behind the arc.
The Clippers led by as many as nine points in the first half and held a 55-49 advantage at half-time. The Clippers closed out the third quarter on an 8-0 run to lead 89-75 and ultimately took a 17-point lead early in the fourth quarter.
But the Pacers closed within three points twice in the final 1:02 before a Patrick Beverley lay-up with 10.7 seconds remaining sealed the victory for Los Angeles.