James Harden scored 43 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists in three quarters to lead the Houston Rockets to a 141-113 rout over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.
After the Cavaliers won the first meeting with Houston this season, the Rockets were determined to take care of business this time round and they did that.
They raced into a 28-point lead after scoring a season-high 77 points in the first half due partly to 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 two-and-a-half quarters to reach 30 points, hitting a three with 7:41 left in the third quarter to give him 32 points and push Houston's lead to 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 lay-up 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 three-pointers to extend his NBA-record to 12 games in a row with at least five. Ante Zizic led Cleveland with 18 points but they have now lost 12 straight matches.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS 113-106 MILWAUKEE BUCKS
Bradley Beal scored 32 points and Tomas Satoransky had 18 points, a career-high 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his first career triple-double to help Washington Wizards beat Milwaukee Bucks.
With Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo sidelined due to hip and quad injuries, the Wizards came out aggressively and never trailed after the opening two minutes.
The Wizards finished with 18 three-pointers, matching the franchise record. Khris Middleton scored 25 points for the Bucks but it proved a mere consolation.
TORONTO RAPTORS 122-105 BROOKLYN NETS
Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points and 11 rebounds, Pascal Siakam scored 16 points as Toronto beat Brooklyn for their second seven-game home winning streak of the season.
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 on December 9 to Milwaukee Bucks.
The Raptors have won four straight games overall and six from the last seven. The only loss in that span was against the San Antonio Spurs on January 3.
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.
ATLANTA HAWKS 123-121 PHILADELPHIA 76ERS
John Collins hit a fadeaway jumper with 25 seconds left as Atlanta hung on as the Philadelphia 76ers pushed to tie the game late on.
Jimmy Butler was fouled on a drive and had a chance to tie it with 2.4 seconds left. Butler, an 86 per cent free-throw shooter, got both shots wrong and wasted the chance to salvage the game.
Wilson Chandler slipped under the basket on the second miss and missed a gimmie tip-in at the horn.
Collins scored 25 points, and Kevin Huerter hit five threes and led the Hawks with 29 points.
Butler led the Sixers with 30 points and Ben Simmons had 23 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.
DALLAS MAVERICKS 119-115 MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES
Luka Doncic scored 29 points and hit the go-ahead three-pointer to lead Dallas past 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 coach Flip Saunders, took over the role after Tom Thibodeau was fired a week ago.
INDIANA PACERS 121-106 NEW YORK KNICKS
Domantas Sabonis hit 22 points and 15 rebounds to cap his sizzling season at Madison Square Garden as the Indiana Pacers beat New York Knicks.
Sabonis shot nine 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.
Emmanuel Mudiay scored 21 points for the Knicks.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS 127-96 CHARLOTTE HORNETS
CJ McCollum had 30 points and Damian Lillard scored 20 before resting in the fourth quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers produced a rout over the Charlotte Hornets.
Portland has won four straight games and six of seven overall. They have improved to 17-7 at home, now tied for best in the Western Conference.
The victory also extended the Blazers' winning streak over the Hornets in Portland to 11 straight games - Charlotte haven't won in Portland since 2008.
Kemba Walker had 18 points for the Hornets, who fell to 5-14 on the road this season in the fourth of a five-game trip.
UTAH JAZZ 113-95 LA LAKERS
Donovan Mitchell had 33 points and a career-high nine assists, helping the Utah Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers.
Utah (22-21) made 15 three-pointers in their fourth win in five games. Rudy Gobert had 12 points and a season-high 18 rebounds. Joe Ingles had 14 points and a career-high 12 boards, and Derrick Favors finished with 15 points and a season-high 13 rebounds.
The Jazz also got a solid performance from Royce O'Neale, who went five for 12 from three-point range on his way to a season-high 17 points.
Michael Beasley scored 17 points for the Lakers. Brandom Ingram added 15 points and Kyle Kuzma had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Los Angeles (23-20) lost for the sixth time in nine games without LeBron James in the lineup.
They are missing James badly as he continues to recover from a groin injury.