After the Cavaliers won the first meeting with Houston this season, the Rockets were determined to take care of business this time. They did that, racing to a 28-point lead after scoring a season-high 77 points in the first half behind 24 points from Harden. The Rockets led 113-81 after three quarters.
Harden had his 15th straight game with at least 30 points, his franchise-record 13th game with 40 points this season and the seventh in the last nine games.
Harden needed less than 2 1/2 quarters to reach 30 points, hitting a 3 with 7:41 left in the third to give him 32 points and push Houston’s lead 91-58. He joins Kobe Bryant (16 games in 2003) as the only players to score 30 points in at least 15 games in a row since the 1972-73 season.
About three minutes later, he pushed his total to 40 after he was left wide open to drive into the lane for an easy layup to make it 99-68. Harden grabbed his 10th rebound with about 90 seconds left in the third quarter to give him his sixth triple-double this season and the 41st of his career. He made eight 3-pointers to extend his NBA-record to 12 games in a row with at least five.
Ante Zizic led Cleveland with 18 points. They have lost 12 straight.
With Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined by hip and quad injuries, Washington came out aggressively and never trailed after the opening two minutes. The Wizards finished with 18 3-pointers, matching the franchise record. Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks.
Serge Ibaka added 14 points, OG Anunoby and Norman Powell each had 13, Delon Wright had 12 to help Toronto improve to 18-4 at home. They last lost at home Dec. 9 to Milwaukee. The Raptors have won four straight overall and six of seven. The only loss in that span was Jan. 3 at San Antonio.
Toronto has won 13 of the past 14 meetings with the Nets, including seven straight north of the border. D’Angelo Russell led Brooklyn with 24 points.
HAWKS 123, 76ERS 121
Jimmy Butler was fouled on a drive and had a chance to tie it with 2.4 seconds left. Butler, an 86 percent free-throw shooter, clanged both shots to waste the chance at the tie. Wilson Chandler slipped under the basket on the second miss and missed a gimmie tip-in at the horn.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Luka Doncic scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer to lead Dallas poast Minnesota, spoiling rookie coach Ryan Saunders’ home debut.
Doncic also had 12 assists and eight rebounds. He scored seven of Dallas’ final nine points.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves in their first home game since Saunders was named interim coach. Saunders, the son of last coacg Flip Saunders, took over as coach after Tom Thibodeau was fired Sunday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Domantas Sabonis had 22 points and 15 rebounds to cap his sizzling season at Madison Square Garden, and Indiana beat New York.
Sabonis shot 9 for 14 from the field to finish 21 of 26 this season in two games in New York. He made all 12 shots and tied his career high with 30 points when the Pacers won here on Halloween.
Victor Oladipo added 19 points for the Pacers, coming off a blowout loss in Boston on Wednesday night.
Source: Fox Sports