Rockets deny Celts
HOUSTON (AP) -- James Harden scored 21 points and Greg Smith added 20 to help the Houston Rockets to a 101-89 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday night.
Harden had 10 points, four assists, two rebounds and a steal in the third quarter as Houston built its lead.
The Rockets used a 9-2 run capped by a 3-pointer by Harden to open the period and go on top 52-47. They never trailed after that and cruised to the victory.
Paul Pierce led Boston with 18 points after scoring a season-high 34 in the Celtics’ double-overtime win at Dallas on Wednesday.
Harden, who had scored 30 or more in his last two games, got off to a slow start before heating up in the third quarter.
PACERS 95, 76ERS 85
INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored 28 points and George Hill had a triple-double to lead the Indiana Pacers past the short-handed Philadelphia 76ers 95-85 on Friday night.
George scored 14 points during a third-quarter flurry that changed the game. Hill had 15 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds. Roy Hibbert finished with 19 points and a season-high 14 rebounds.
Philadelphia played without guard Jrue Holiday, who sat out with a sprained left foot. Evan Turner scored 20 points and reserve Spencer Hawes had 18 for the 76ers.
It wasn’t enough.
After giving up six points to Philadelphia in the final 3.8 seconds of the first half, the Pacers used a 16-4 third-quarter run to take a 60-52 lead and never trailed again.
Hill originally was credited with nine rebounds, but an official scoring change after the game gave him the triple-double.
LAKERS 102, WIZARDS 96
WASHINGTON -- Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, reserve Jodie Meeks added 24 and the Lakers snapped a four-game losing streak.
Slowed by foul trouble, Dwight Howard finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds, and the Lakers improved to 10-14.
Cartier Martin scored a season-high 21 points for Washington, which fell to an NBA-worst 3-17. But the Wizards led by as many nine points in the first half and, after trailing by as many 16 in the second, closed to 92-89 on Nene’s free throws with 5 1/2 minutes left in the game.
With Washington within five and 4 1/2 minutes left, Martell Webster was called for a foul on Bryant on a 3-point attempt, even though a replay appeared to show no contact.
Bryant made all three free throws, and the Lakers were on their way.
MAGIC 99, WARRIORS 85
ORLANDO, Fla. -- J.J. Redick had 16 points and Nikola Vucevic added 12 points and 17 rebounds to help Orlando hold on for the win
The Magic led by as many as 20 before their lead was trimmed to 10 points late. But they connected on nine 3-pointers to help secure the win. Andrew Nicholson added 15 points and nine rebounds.
The victory snapped a four-game home losing streak for the Magic, who have won eight of their past nine against the Warriors.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 25 points and David Lee had 24.
Golden State had won five in a row. The Warriors conclude their seven-game road trip Saturday in Atlanta.
BUCKS 90, CAVALIERS 86
CLEVELAND -- Monta Ellis scored a season-high 33 points, Brandon Jennings added 16 and the Bucks picked up their fourth consecutive victory.
It also was Milwaukee’s ninth straight victory over the Cavaliers.
Kyrie Irving scored 26 points for Cleveland, which committed a season-high 27 turnovers. The Cavaliers have lost seven of eight and 11 of 13.
Ellis, who scored 20 points in the second half, was 12 for 24 from the field.
Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao, the league’s leading rebounder, left the game in the first half after sustaining a contusion to his lower left leg. X-rays taken at halftime were negative and Varejao came back in the game early in the third quarter. He had eight points and 18 rebounds.
RAPTORS 95, MAVERICKS 74
TORONTO -- Linas Kleiza scored 12 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter, rookie Terrence Ross had 18 points and Toronto snapped a six-game losing streak.
DeMar DeRozan and Jose Calderon had 14 points each for the Raptors, who had lost 14 of their previous 17 meetings with the Mavericks, who came in ranked as the NBA’s fifth-best 3-point shooting team and endured a miserable shooting night.
Dallas went 0 for 13 from 3-point range, coming up empty for the first time since February 1999. Its stretch of 1,108 games had been the longest active streak in the NBA.
Derek Fisher was credited with a 3-pointer at 9:09 of the fourth, but the basket was later changed to a 2 after video review.
The Raptors had lost 12 of 13 and were again without Andrea Bargnani (right elbow) and Kyle Lowry (right shoulder).
NEW ORLEANS -- Nikola Pekovic scored a season-high 31 points, Andrei Kirilenko had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and the Timberwolves won their third straight game.
Pekovic was 14 for 18 from the field, scoring almost exclusively inside where Minnesota finished with a whopping 70-42 scoring advantage despite an off night for Kevin Love, who made only 4 of 18 shots.
Love finished with 14 points, while Luke Ridnour scored 15 and Alexey Shved 13.
Hornets rookie Austin Rivers had a career-high 27 points, scoring 19 in the first half. Ryan Anderson added 20 points and Greivis Vasquez collected 15 points and a career-high 17 assists.
New Orleans has lost five straight and 15 of 17.
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