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NBA capsules: Eric Gordon scores 30 as Rockets beat Timberwolves 116-98

Jan. 18, 2018 Updated Thu., Jan. 18, 2018 at 10:55 p.m.

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon passes the ball as Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns (left) and Jimmy Butler defend Thursday night in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)
Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon passes the ball as Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns (left) and Jimmy Butler defend Thursday night in Houston. (Michael Wyke / Associated Press)
Associated Press

HOUSTON – Eric Gordon scored 30 points, leading the Houston Rockets to a 116-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday night.

James Harden returned to Houston’s lineup after missing seven games with a left hamstring strain and finished with 10 points on 3-for-15 shooting in 26 minutes. Houston went 4-3 in his absence.

Chris Paul had 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds, and Clint Capela added 20 points for the Rockets. Houston has won 15 of the past 17 meetings with Minnesota, including a 10-game winning streak at home.

Jimmy Butler led Minnesota with 23 points, and Karl-Anthony Towns added 22 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.

76ers 89, Celtics 80

BOSTON – Joel Embiid celebrated his first NBA All-Star selection with 26 points and matched a career best with 16 rebounds, leading the 76ers to the road win.

Dario Saric scored 16 for Philadelphia, which won for the sixth time in seven games. T.J. McConnell had 15 points – all in the second half.

The Celtics played without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, who rested a sore left shoulder. Al Horford and Marcus Morris each scored 14 points.

After winning seven in a row, Boston has lost two straight.

The Celtics had no answer for Embiid, who was 10 for 19 from the floor and 6 of 7 at the foul line. He also had six assists and blocked two shots.

Cavaliers 104, Magic 103

CLEVELAND – Isaiah Thomas made two free throws with 11 seconds left and Cleveland came up with a defensive stop in the frantic final seconds after blowing a 23-point lead.

After Thomas made his shots, Orlando’s Elfrid Payton missed a contested layup with three seconds left. The officials ruled there was an inadvertent whistle and held a jump ball at midcourt.

Magic forward Aaron Gordon grabbed the toss and sank an apparent game-winning 45-footer as the horn sounded and Cleveland’s crowd shrieked in disbelief. But Gordon committed a jump-ball violation with the move and Cleveland then only had to inbound the ball to come away with a win that shouldn’t have been so difficult.

Thomas had 21 points and LeBron James finished with 16, helping the Cavs stop a four-game slide.

The Magic have dropped 17 of 19. Payton scored 19 and Gordon had 17.

Trail Blazers 100, Pacers 86

PORTLAND, Ore. – Damian Lillard scored 26 points, Jusuf Nurkic had 19 points and a season-high 17 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers earned their fifth consecutive home win.

CJ McCollum added 16 points and Shabazz Napier had 13 for Portland, which beat Indiana for the ninth consecutive time on its home floor.

Victor Oladipo and Darren Collison each scored 23 points for Indiana.

Indiana was without forward Myles Turner, the team’s second-leading scorer this season. Turner has missed five consecutive games with a right elbow injury.

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