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Sports >  NBA

NBA Capsules: Rockets beat Timberwolves 120-102 for 11th straight win

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) chases down the ball in front of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, left, as Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)
Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) chases down the ball in front of Minnesota Timberwolves forward Nemanja Bjelica, left, as Rockets forward PJ Tucker (4) watches during the second half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Feb. 23, 2018, in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)
Associated Press

HOUSTON – James Harden scored 31 points and the Houston Rockets won their 11th straight game with a 120-102 victory Friday night over the Minnesota Timberwolves, who lost All-Star Jimmy Butler to a knee injury.

Butler left late in the third quarter. After grabbing a rebound, he pivoted and planted hard on his right foot before collapsing and grabbing his right knee. He was on the floor for at least three minutes before he was carried off the court by two teammates.

Coach Tom Thibodeau said Butler will have an MRI and be re-evaluated on Saturday.

Clint Capela had 25 points and 11 rebounds for Houston, getting his 10th double-double over the past 13 games. Chris Paul added 14 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.

The Rockets trailed for much of the first half before going ahead to maintain the NBA’s best record.

Andrew Wiggins led Minnesota with 21 points, and Jeff Teague and Karl-Anthony Towns both had 18 points. Towns added 13 rebounds.

Trail Blazers 100, Jazz 81

SALT LAKE CITY – CJ McCollum scored 26 points, Damian Lillard added 24 and Portland snapped Utah’s 11-game winning streak.

McCollum and Lillard drove through and around the Jazz defense, which was ranked at the top of the league during their streak.

The Jazz finally got within single digits at 90-81, but McCollum scored on three consecutive isolation plays, all contested jumpers.

Jusuf Nurkic scored 15 points and Al-Farouq Aminu had 12 for the Blazers.

Donovan Mitchell scored 21 points for Utah, and Rudy Gobert had 15.

Pelicans 124, Heat 123, OT

NEW ORLEANS – Anthony Davis had 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots and five steals, and New Orleans earned its fourth consecutive victory.

Goran Dragic scored 30 points and Dwyane Wade hit two runners to give the Heat the lead twice in the last 36 seconds of overtime, but Davis responded to the first with a layup as he was fouled, and Jrue Holiday answered the second with a runner in the lane with 7 seconds left.

Wade had one last shot for the win with Holiday defending him closely. It bounced off the rim to Josh Richardson, whose rushed put-back missed the basket as time expired in Miami’s third straight loss.

Holiday finished with 29 points and nine assists, connecting with Davis on a couple of alley-oop dunks.

Cavaliers 112, Grizzlies 89

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – LeBron James had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in his 11th triple-double of the season, and Cleveland pulled away after a slow start.

George Hill also scored 18 points, while Larry Nance Jr. finished with 15 and Jordan Clarkson had 14 as the newcomers had good nights in the Cavaliers’ fifth win in the last six games.

Tyreke Evans and JaMychal Green each had 15 points for Memphis, with Evans also dishing out 10 assists and Green grabbing 10 rebounds. Marc Gasol had 14 points and nine rebounds.

Cleveland outscored Memphis 58-40 in the second half, sending the Grizzlies to their eighth straight loss.

Bucks 122, Raptors 119, OT

TORONTO – Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, helping Milwaukee snap Toronto’s seven-game win streak.

Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton each scored 21 points as the Bucks won the opener of an eight-game stretch against teams in playoff contention. Jason Terry scored 14 points, and John Henson and Thon Maker each had 12.

DeMar DeRozan scored 33 points for the Raptors, who had won five straight home meetings with the Bucks. Serge Ibaka had 18 points, and Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam each scored 17.

Jonas Valanciunas’ buzzer-beating dunk for Toronto sent the game to overtime. He finished with 10 points.

Clippers 128, Suns 117

PHOENIX – Super-sub Lou Williams had 35 points in 33 minutes, and the Clippers scored the first 19 points of the game while handing the Suns their eighth loss in a row.

Tobias Harris added 30 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers. They have won eight of 11.

Devin Booker and T.J. Warren scored 27 apiece for the Suns, who have dropped 13 of 14. Alex Len had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Hornets 122, Wizards 105

WASHINGTON – Kemba Walker scored 20 of his 24 points in the second half, leading Charlotte to the road win.

Frank Kaminsky added 23 points as the Hornets (26-33) improved to 3-0 against the Wizards this season. Charlotte jumped out to a 20-point lead in the first half and matched its season high with 17 3-pointers in its third consecutive win. Marvin Williams scored 15 points, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14.

Washington returned from the All-Star break with a rousing 110-103 win at Cleveland on Thursday, but could not keep the momentum going despite All-Star Bradley Beal scoring 33 points.

The loss dropped the Wizards (34-25) into a fourth-place tie with Indiana in the Eastern Conference.

Nuggets 122, Spurs 119

DENVER – Nikola Jokic had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for Denver, and Wilson Chandler had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds.

Jokic has a triple-double in three straight games and six this season, but didn’t stick around for the finish. He was called for five fouls in the fourth quarter and fouled out on a charge with 1:46 left.

Gary Harris scored 23 points to help Denver win its fourth straight and seventh in its last eight.

LaMarcus Aldridge had 36 points and Patty Mills scored 20 for San Antonio.

Celtics 110, Pistons 98

DETROIT – Kyrie Irving scored 18 points and rookie Daniel Theis had a career-high 19 to lift Boston to the victory.

Jayson Tatum scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half for the Celtics, who went into the All-Star break on a three-game losing streak but returned with a solid win on the road. Boston took control by outscoring the Pistons 38-21 in the second quarter.

Blake Griffin scored 17 points for Detroit but shot just 5 of 19 from the field.

Theis eclipsed his previous career high of 12 points. He played an important role after Aron Baynes, the starting center for the Celtics, went to the locker room in the first half with left elbow soreness.

Pacers 116, Hawks 93

INDIANAPOLIS – Thaddeus Young scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half, and Indiana never trailed in a runaway victory.

The 11th-year pro had 10 points by the end of the opening quarter and the Pacers led by 17 by halftime. They were ahead 83-66 entering the final quarter.

The Pacers (34-25) won their fourth in a row and improved to 15-6 since Jan. 6, the league’s best winning percentage (.714) in that span. Domantas Sabonis led Indiana with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

The Hawks (18-42), who have the NBA’s worst record, are 5-25 on the road and have dropped three in a row overall.

Lakers 124, Mavericks 102

LOS ANGELES – Julius Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, and Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball made a triumphant return to the lineup.

Ball, who was sidelined for 15 games with a knee injury, had nine points, seven rebounds and six assists in 17 minutes. Isaiah Thomas had 17 points and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Brandon Ingram scored 15 apiece to help Los Angeles stop a three-game slide.

It was Randle’s second triple-double this season and No. 5 for his career.

Wesley Matthews and Harrison Barnes each scored 19 points for the Mavericks, who have dropped five of six.

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