James Harden scores 58 points to spur Houston Rockets to comeback win over Miami Heat


James Harden finished with 58 points and 10 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 121-118 comeback win over the Miami Heat.

Miami Heat 118-121 Houston Rockets

James Harden produced his seventh career 50-point, 10-assist game to spur the Houston Rockets to a 121-118 comeback victory over the visiting Miami Heat on Thursday night.

Harden finished with 58 points and 10 assists to inspire the rally but received help down the stretch from Austin Rivers (17 points on 7-of-8 shooting) and Chris Paul, whose pull-up jumper with 46.2 seconds left followed an errant Harden triple and extended the lead to three.

Miami grabbed a 113-103 lead on a Goran Dragic three-pointer with 6:18 remaining, but the Rockets responded with a 14-0 run to the lead. Harden produced a three-point play and two driving lay-ups during that stretch, but Paul secured the lead with two free throws at the 3:27 mark.

The Heat shot 51.9 per cent overall but went cold at the wrong time, posting only 20 points on 6-for-17 shooting in the final period.

Seven players scored in double figures for Miami, with Dragic and Kelly Olynyk scoring 21 points apiece while Houston native Justise Winslow added 19 points, seven rebounds and eight assists. Josh Richardson chipped in 18 points for the Heat.

Paul and Gary Clark, a last-minute addition to Houston’s starting lineup, scored 14 apiece. The Rockets were without regulars Eric Gordon (knee), Kenneth Faried (hip) and Iman Shumpert (calf).

Golden State Warriors 96-103 Orlando Magic

Aaron Gordon led Orlando with 22 points and 15 rebounds as the Magic moved into a tie for first place in the Southeastern Division with a 103-96 win over the Golden State Warriors at home.

Terrence Ross added 16 points off the bench, and Nikola Vucevic had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Orlando have won seven of their last nine games and tied the Charlotte Hornets for the division lead.

Stephen Curry had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Golden State. DeMarcus Cousins and Klay Thompson each scored 21. Kevin Durant took the night off, missing his first game of the season.

The Warriors have lost back-to-back games for the first time since December and have lost four of their last six.

Orlando trailed 94-92 until Gordon hit a three-pointer with 1:41 left to give the Magic their first lead of the fourth quarter.

DJ Augustin followed that up with a lay-up, Ross padded the lead with a couple free throws and the Warriors missed several open shots down the stretch. Orlando outscored Golden State 14-2 in the last three minutes of the game.

Philadelphia 76ers 108-104 Oklahoma City Thunder

Tobias Harris scored 32 points and Ben Simmons had a triple-double as the visiting Philadelphia 76ers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-104 on Thursday night.

The 76ers’ win broke the Thunder’s 19-game winning streak in the series, snapping the longest active streak in the NBA.

Philadelphia had not beaten Oklahoma City since November 15, 2008. The 76ers had never beaten Oklahoma City on the road, with the last road win over the Thunder franchise coming before the team moved from Seattle.

Simmons’ final rebound was a big one, a grab on the offensive end with less than 10 seconds remaining before the ball was batted out of bounds.

JJ Redick hit two free throws with less than two seconds remaining to put the game away and give the 76ers their fourth win in the last five games.

Simmons had 11 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his ninth triple-double of the season. He wasn’t the only player with a triple-double in the game. Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had 23 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for his 25th triple-double of the season. But he shot just 8-of-24 from the floor.

Jerami Grant also scored 23 for the Thunder, who lost for the third consecutive game and fourth in five games.

Utah Jazz 111-104 Denver Nuggets

Donovan Mitchell scored six of his 24 points late in the fourth quarter and Kyle Korver hit six three-pointers and finished with 22 points as the short-handed Utah Jazz beat the host Denver Nuggets 111-104.

Derrick Favors finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Joe Ingles had 15 points and 10 assists for the Jazz, who ended Denver’s nine-game home winning streak.

Rudy Gobert finished with 16 points, eight rebounds and four blocks, including a key one in the final minute when the Nuggets were rallying.

Utah played without guards Dante Exum (sprained ankle), Ricky Rubio (left hamstring tightness) and Raul Neto (left hamstring tightness).

Will Barton had 21 points and 13 rebounds, Jamal Murray also scored 21 and Nikola Jokic finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Denver had won 20 of 21 at home before Thursday night.

Trailing 81-70 headed into the fourth quarter, Denver scored the first five points of the final period fourth to get within six, the closest the game had been since the first half. They then drew within five after two free throws by Gary Harris.

The Jazz responded. Korver scored eight points in a 13-0 run that pushed the lead to 97-79 with 6:03 left. Denver had one last surge, outscoring the Jazz 19-7 during a run to cut the deficit to 102-98 with 1:41 left.

After Mitchell hit a lay-up, Paul Millsap drained a three-pointer to make it 104-101 with 1:14 left. Mitchell hit a long jumper to make it a five-point game, and Denver couldn’t get any closer.

Minnesota Timberwolves 115-122 Indiana Pacers

Bojan Bogdanovic gave Indiana the lead for good on a lay-up with 3:57 remaining and the Pacers used a strong defensive finish to hold on for a 122-115 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves in Indianapolis.

Bogdanovic finished with a season-high 37 points, helping the Pacers overcome a season-best 42-point explosion by Timberwolves big man Karl-Anthony Towns for a ninth win in their last 12 games.

Indiana won the game by outscoring Minnesota 16-8 after the Timberwolves had taken a 107-106 lead with 5:58 to go.

Bogdanovic’s lay-up put the Pacers on top 109-107, and his three-pointer 40 seconds later created a five-point margin. He capped his big night with a pair of hoops in the final 1:30 as the Pacers held the Timberwolves at arm’s length.

The tight finish capped a fourth quarter in which there were six lead changes and two ties. Minnesota’s last lead came at 107-106 with 5:58 to go on a hoop by Towns. But the Timberwolves didn’t make another shot until they’d fallen eight points behind with just 26.7 seconds left, going 0-for-3 on two-pointers and 0-for-5 on threes.

Their only three points during a critical 12-3 Pacers run came on two free throws by Taj Gibson and one by Jeff Teague, but they also missed three foul shots down the stretch.

Reserve TJ Leaf backed Bogdanovic with 18 points for the Pacers. Thaddeus Young (15 points), Wes Matthews (12) and Kyle O’Quinn (10) also scored in double figures for Indiana.

Towns completed a double-double with a game-high 17 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Teague and Anthony Tolliver chipped in with 13 points apiece for Minnesota while Gibson had 12, Andrew Wiggins 11 and Derrick Rose 10.

Cleveland Cavaliers 125-118 New York Knicks

Jordan Clarkson hit the go-ahead free throws with 89 seconds left as the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers rallied down the stretch and recorded a 125-118 victory over the New York Knicks.

Cleveland swept the season series and recorded their 10th straight win in New York by outscoring the Knicks 21-5 in the last 3:51.

Clarkson put Cleveland ahead for good at 116-115 after intercepting Dennis Smith Jr’s pass and getting fouled by Allonzo Trier. Trier was also called for a clear path foul, and on the next possession Clarkson hit a left corner three-pointer off a feed from rookie Collin Sexton with 1:20 left.

The Cavs’ Kevin Love led all scorers with 26 points and hit six free throws in the final 25 seconds as Cleveland outscored New York 40-21 in the fourth.

Clarkson and Sexton added 22 apiece and Cedi Osman contributed 21 for Cleveland, who had four players finish with 20 points for the first time since February 6, 2017.

Trier scored 22 points but the Knicks missed their last 11 shots and were unable to match a season high with their third straight win. Smith Jr and Noah Vonleh added 16 points each as New York shot 48.4 per cent.

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(c) Sky News 2019: James Harden scores 58 points to spur Houston Rockets to comeback win over Miami Heat

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