James Harden scores 38 points, Rockets beat Grizzlies 111-96

HOUSTON (AP) – James Harden scored 38 points to lead the Houston Rockets to a 111-96 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night.

After suffering two losses to Memphis in the first two weeks of the season, the Rockets finally solved their shooting woes against the Grizzlies.

In their previous two meetings, Memphis held the Rockets to 90 and 89 points, the only two times the Rockets have been held under 100 points this season, and Houston’s lowest two scoring efforts ever under head coach Mike D’Antoni.

On Saturday night, Houston jumped out to a 9-0 lead by draining three 3s and never let Memphis go ahead, leading by as many as 25 points. The Rockets outdid their previous scoring against Memphis by the end of the third quarter, entering the fourth with a 93-70 lead.

Houston hit 16 of 45 (35.6 per cent) from beyond the arc, including 6 of 14 from Harden, who added eight assists and four rebounds. Eric Gordon added 26 points on 6 of 11 three-point shooting for Houston.

Tyreke Evans led Memphis with 22 points.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (L) regains control of the ball under pressure from Memphis Grizzlies forward Dillon Brooks. – AP

WARRIORS 135, 76ERS 114

Kevin Durant returned from missing one game with a leg injury to finish with 29 points, leading Golden State past Philadelphia for its sixth straight win.

Draymond Green had 10 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, five blocks and two steals. Stephen Curry added 22 points and nine assists to surpass the 4,000-assist mark for his career and Klay Thompson scored 23 as the Warriors pulled away in the second half.

Durant sat out Wednesday’s win against the Timberwolves with a bruised left thigh but hardly showed any signs of an issue. Curry, sporting new cornrows in his hair, briefly went to the locker room early in the second but returned.

JJ Redick scored 17 points to lead the Sixers.

BUCKS 98, LAKERS 90

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 33 points to help Milwaukee overcome Lonzo Ball’s triple-double for Los Angeles.

Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds. At 20 years and 15 days, he bested LeBron James by four days to become the youngest to accomplish the feat.

Milwaukee used a 9-2 run at the end of the third quarter to grab a 77-67 lead.

The Bucks maintained a double-digit lead throughout most of the fourth. After the Lakers pulled within seven with just over five minutes left, Antetokounmpo threw down a dunk while being fouled. He made the free throw to grow the Bucks’ lead back to 10 points. He followed with a twisting layup on the next possession as the Bucks gained control.

PELICANS 111, CLIPPERS 103

DeMarcus Cousins had 35 points and 15 rebounds and Anthony Davis added 25 points and 10 rebounds to help New Orleans beat Los Angeles.

Jrue Holiday had eight assists for New Orleans, half of the total assists generated by the entire Clippers team. The Pelicans also overcame 23 turnovers. Cousins lost the ball eight times — two on offensive fouls — and Holiday had seven turnovers.

Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 27 points, but it came on 9-of-27 shooting. DeAndre Jordan has 12 points and 14 rebounds.

SPURS 133, BULLS 94

Pau Gasol had 21 points and 10 rebounds and short-handed San Antonio beat Chicago, setting a season high in points despite missing a third of their roster Saturday night.

Dejounte Murray added 17 points and Davis Bertans had 16 points in 18 minutes for San Antonio.

Chicago lost rookie forward Lauri Markkanen to a sprained left ankle late in the first half. The severity of the injury is unknown.

The Spurs were without six players, including three starters. In addition to Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, who have yet to play this season due to quadriceps injuries, San Antonio was without Danny Green. Manu Ginobili rested on the second night of a back-to-back.

CAVALIERS 111, MAVERICKS 104

Kevin Love had 29 points and 15 rebounds and Kyle Korver scored all 13 of his points in the fourth quarter to help Cleveland beat Dallas.

The Mavericks were down by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter and cut the lead to one on two occasions but could never take the lead.

With the American Airlines Center crowd standing for most of the game’s final four minutes, Harrison Barnes missed a three-pointer that would have put Dallas up by one. Korver was fouled on the rebound and made both free throws to put the Cavs up 106-102, and Cleveland clinched the game with free throws.

Barnes finished with 23 points.

LeBron James, averaging 36 points in November, had just 19, but two came on an emphatic dunk with 1:08 to play that put Cleveland up 104-100.

NUGGETS 125, MAGIC 107

Jamal Murray scored a career-high 32 points, Will Barton had 26 points and nine rebounds — both season bests — and Denver beat Orlando.

Nikola Jokic had 12 points and 17 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season and also added eight assists for Denver. Murray had 22 points in the first half to help Denver take a 70-47 lead and hit a basket late in the fourth to set his career high.

Denver finished its season-long six-game homestand 5-1 and benefited from a shorthanded Magic team. Guards Elfrid Payton and DJ Augustin didn’t play due to left hamstring injuries, and the Nuggets took advantage of their absence to score 70 points from their backcourt.

Marreese Speights led the Magic with 19 points.

KNICKS 118, KINGS 91

Kristaps Porzingis returned after a one-game absence to score 34 points, and Courtney Lee added 20 in New York’s victory over Sacramento.

Porzingis missed a loss at Orlando on Wednesday night with ankle and elbow injuries.

Enes Kanter had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Knicks. Skal Labissiere scored 19 points, and Buddy Hield had 17 for the Kings.

SUNS 118, TIMBERWOLVES 110

Devin Booker and TJ Warren scored 35 points apiece and Phoenix snapped a five-game losing streak by beating Minnesota.

Booker scored nine in the Suns’ decisive 21-7 run over the final 3:50.

Andrew Wiggins scored 27 points and Jimmy Butler had 25 in Minnesota’s second straight loss after a five-game winning streak.

WIZARDS 113, HAWKS 94

Bradley Beal scored 19 points and Washington forced Atlanta into a season-worst 24 turnovers.

Markieff Morris scored 18 points in his best game offensive game since returning from sports hernia surgery, and Kelly Oubre added 18 in Washington’s second straight win.

Taurean Prince scored 19 points and Marco Belinelli had 15 for Atlanta.

JAZZ 114, NETS 106

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points, including four in the final minute, to lead Utah past Brooklyn.

Without Rudy Gobert, who sat with a bruised knee, Derrick Favors had season highs of 24 points and 12 rebounds and the Jazz snapped their four-game losing streak.

D’Angelo Russell scored 26 points for the Nets but limped to the locker room with 2:35 to play and did not return.