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Thursday, December 13, 2018  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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NBA capsules: James Harden scores career-high 56 points, Rockets rout Jazz

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives into Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) drives into Utah Jazz forward Derrick Favors (15) in the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Nov. 5, 2017, in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)

James Harden scored a career-high 56 points and added 13 assists in just 35 minutes to lead the Houston Rockets to a 137-110 victory over the visiting Utah Jazz on Sunday night.

Harden finished 19 of 25 from the field after missing his last three attempts. The MVP runner-up was 7 for 7 from beyond the arc until he missed a step-back 3-pointer midway through the fourth quarter as the shot clock was about to expire.

Even when the Jazz could deny Harden his shot, he passed it off for someone else to score. Eric Gordon scored 20 points, Trevor Ariza had 14 and Nene scored 13 off the bench.

Harden received a standing ovation from the Toyota Center crowd, which rained down “MVP! MVP!” chants at multiple points during the game. He had 22 points in both the first and third quarters, 30 at halftime and sat for the final 7:32 of the blowout.

Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 17 points.

Atlanta 117, Cleveland 115: Dennis Schroeder scored 28 points and the injury-riddled Hawks beat the Cavaliers in Cleveland to end an eight-game losing streak.

Missing five players, Atlanta won for the first time since topping Dallas in the season opener.

Cleveland’s Kevin Love was taken to a hospital with an illness, Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said without disclosing the problem. Love left in the third quarter.

Coming off his 57-point performance Friday night at Washington, LeBron James had 26 points and 13 assists for Cleveland. The Cavaliers have lost five of seven.

Washington 107, Toronto 96: Bradley Beal scored 38 points, Otto Porter Jr. had 19 and the Wizards overcame the absence of All-Star point guard John Wall to beat the Raptors in Toronto, winning for the second time in 11 meetings with the Raptors.

Marcin Gortat had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Markieff Morris and Kelly Oubre Jr. each scored 10 points for the Wizards. Wall sat out because of a sprained left shoulder sustained Friday in a 130-122 loss to Cleveland. He is expected to return for Tuesday’s home game against Dallas.

Toronto lost its starting point guard when Kyle Lowry was ejected with 8:08 remaining in the second quarter after picking up two technical fouls in quick succession for arguing. Lowry finished with two points in 12 minutes. DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and Norman Powell had 19 as Toronto lost for the first time in three home games this season.

Portland 103, Oklahoma City 99: Damian Lillard had 36 points and 13 assists, Jusuf Nurkic added 25 points and the Trail Blazers held off the Thunder in Portland.

Lillard, scoring at least 30 points in his fourth consecutive game, scored on a driving layup with 29.5 seconds to give the Blazers a 98-94 lead that the Thunder were unable to overcome.

Nurkic hit 11 of 15 shots and grabbed eight rebounds. C.J. McCollum made six 3-pointers and scored 22 points for the Blazers, who hit 50 percent from the floor (37 of 74).

Paul George topped the Thunder with 27 points. Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists.

Oklahoma City played much of the second half without Carmelo Anthony. He was ejected from the game with 4:26 left in the third quarter following a flagrant foul. Driving to the basket, Anthony elbowed the chin of Nurkic, who collapsed and lay on the floor for more than a minute.

New York 108, Indiana 101: Kristaps Porzingis scored a career-high 40 points, carrying the Knicks back from a 19-point deficit to a victory over the Pacers in New York.

Porzingis added eight rebounds and six blocked shots in his seventh 30-point performance in nine games this season.

Rookie Frank Ntilikina made the tiebreaking 3-pointer with 1:34 remaining as the Knicks won for the fifth time in six games after an 0-3 start. He had 10 points and seven assists off the bench.

Thaddeus Young scored 18 points and Victor Oladipo had 17 for the Pacers, who led 84-65 with under 2 minutes remaining in the third quarter.

L.A. Lakers 107, Memphis 102: Brook Lopez scored 21 points, Brandon Ingram added 20 and the Lakers blew most of a 22-point lead before hanging on to beat the Grizzlies in Los Angeles for their third victory in four games.

Rookie Kyle Kuzma had 13 points and 12 rebounds in his second career start for the Lakers. They beat Memphis at Staples Center for the fourth straight time despite the Grizzlies’ furious late rally.

Tyreke Evans scored 26 points and Mike Conley added 11 of his 23 in the fourth quarter for the Grizzlies, who trailed by 15 points with 5:18 to play before rallying. Memphis trimmed the Lakers’ lead to 103-100 with 42 seconds left on Dillon Brooks’ free throws after a flagrant foul by Lopez.

Minnesota 112, Charlotte 94: Jeff Teague had 18 points and 12 assists and the Timberwolves beat the Hornets in Minneapolis for thier fifth straight victory.

Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 20 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns, Jimmy Butler, Gorgui Dieng and Jamal Crawford all reached double figures in scoring.

The Timberwolves moved to 7-3, just a half-game behind Houston for the top spot in the Western Conference. The last time Minnesota won five games in a row was Jan. 2-10, 2009.

Cody Zeller led Charlotte with 16 points.

Boston 104, Orlando 88: Jaylen Brown scored 18 points and Al Horford added 14 points and 10 rebounds to spark the Celtice to a victory over the Magic in Orlando, Florida.

The Eastern Conference-leading Celtics (8-2) have won eight straight after beginning the season with back-to-back losses. Orlando (6-4), which was tied with the Celtics for the best record in the NBA coming into Friday night, has lost two straight.

Kyrie Irving struggled with his shot in the second half, but Marcus Morris, Marcus Smart, Brown and Horford carried Boston offensively. Morris had 12 points in his second game of the season, rookie Jayson Tatum finished with 13 and Smart contributed 11.

Miami 104, L.A. Clippers 101: James Johnson made two free throws with 8.7 seconds left and the Heat recovered after blowing a 25-point lead, bouncing back to beat the CLippers in Los Angeles.

The Clippers began the fourth quarter with a 16-0 run and surged to take a 101-100 edge with 16.3 seconds left. They missed a chance to extend the lead when Austin Rivers missed two foul shots. Johnson put Miami ahead and, after Blake Griffin missed a 3-pointer, Josh Richardson added two more foul shots.

Hassan Whiteside had 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Heat and Tyler Johnson scored 17 points. Griffin had 23 points, and Lou Williams had 22 for Los Angeles.

San Antonio 112, Phoenix 95: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 21 points and the Spurs rolled past the Suns in San Antonio.

The Suns were held to 13 points in the third quarter, the lowest production by a Spurs opponent in any quarter this season. San Antonio won the period by 21 points, its largest point differential in the third quarter since 2012.

Patty Mills had 11 points in the third, going 3 for 3 on 3-pointers, and Aldridge had eight points to spark the decisive quarter. Mills finished with 17 points and Danny Green added 14.

T.J. Warren led Phoenix with 17 points. Devin Booker was held to nine points on 3-for-11 shooting.

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