HOUSTON – James Harden scored 28 points and Eric Gordon added 22 as the Houston Rockets cruised to their season-high ninth straight win, 118-106 over the Charlotte Hornets on Monday night.
A night after Gordon ended a streak of 43 straight games where Harden led the team in scoring, the Beard was Houston’s top scorer again. But Gordon had another strong outing, making five 3-pointers for the third straight game and the fourth in five games.
The Rockets won despite a big performance by Kemba Walker, who finished with 40 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Hornets lost their second in a row.
Thunder 98, Jazz 89
SALT LAKE CITY – Dennis Schroder scored 24 points, Russell Westbrook added 23 points, 11 rebounds, and eight assists, and Oklahoma City beat Utah to sweep the season series.
Westbrook appeared to argue with fans of the Jazz, who knocked the Thunder out of the postseason last year.
Paul George chipped in 14 points and 11 rebounds. Steven Adams and Jerami Grant added 12 points apiece.
Donovan Mitchell scored 25 points for Utah, which shot just 36 percent from the field. Royce O’Neale added 17 points, while Rudy Gobert had 15 points and 12 rebounds.
Clippers 140, Celtics 115
LOS ANGELES – Lou Williams scored 34 points and became the NBA’s career leader in points off the bench as Los Angeles beat Boston for its fifth straight win.
Williams came into the game needing 28 points to pass Dell Curry, who had 11,147 points when not starting. Williams surpassed Curry with 9:53 remaining in the fourth quarter with a driving layup.
It is also Williams’ 29th career game with 30 or more points. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, starters and reserves were tracked in box scores beginning with the 1970-71 season.
Terry Rozier led the Celtics with 26 points while Jaylen Brown added 22 and Kyrie Irving 18. Boston had a three-game winning streak snapped as it was trying to become the second Eastern Conference team this season to win all four games in California.
Nets 103, Pistons 75
NEW YORK – Spencer Dinwiddie scored 19 points and Brooklyn routed Detroit to move into sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Allen Crabbe finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds, Rodions Kurucs scored 13 points, and Joe Harris and Caris LeVert each added 12 as the Nets took control early in the game and never let up.
The Nets (36-33) won their fourth straight and leapfrogged Detroit (34-32) into the No. 6 spot in their final game before leaving for a seven-game road trip.
Andre Drummond led the Pistons with 13 points and 20 rebounds. Blake Griffin finished with 10 points, but only shot 1 of 10 from the field as Detroit was held to its lowest point total of the season. The Pistons had their five-game winning streak snapped.
Cavaliers 126, Raptors 101
CLEVELAND – Collin Sexton scored 28 points, Kevin Love had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and Cleveland routed Toronto.
Toronto’s Serge Ibaka and Cleveland’s Marquese Chriss were ejected for fighting late in the third quarter. Ibaka went to the floor after the two were battling for position under Cleveland’s basket as the Raptors attempted a full-court pass that sailed out of bounds.
Ibaka shoved Chriss from behind and grabbed near his neck before throwing a punch. Chriss responded with a punch before players from both teams separated the two. Ibaka immediately headed for the locker room and both players were kicked out after the officials conferred.
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points after sitting out Sunday’s victory in Miami, but his return didn’t help the Raptors, who have the league’s second-best record.
Wizards 121, Kings 115
WASHINGTON – Bradley Beal scored 21 of his 27 points after halftime, helping Washington beat Sacramento despite twice giving back double-digit leads.
Beal added nine rebounds and nine assists for the 11th-place Wizards, who moved within 3 1/2 games of the eighth Eastern Conference playoff spot currently held by idle Miami.
Jabari Parker added 18 points off the bench and Bobby Portis had 17 points and 13 rebounds as Washington began a five-game homestand.
De’Aaron Fox scored 23 points for the Kings, who started Monday four games back of three teams tied for the last three Western Conference playoff spots.
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