NEW YORK (AP) – James Harden scored 30 points to carry Houston on a night when Dwight Howard did little after fighting with Kevin Garnett and the Rockets beat the slumping Brooklyn Nets 113-99 in the NBA on Monday.
Garnett was ejected in the first quarter after head-butting Howard in the face and throwing the ball at him, while Howard received a technical foul after appearing to punch or slap Garnett in the neck.
Howard had a quiet night otherwise, finishing with eight points and five rebounds, but the Rockets didn’t need much in the middle while dominating from the outside with 16 3-pointers in 40 attempts.
Houston has won four in a row, all by double digits, and blew away a Nets team that had held its previous eight opponents under 100 points, the longest streak in the NBA this season.
Elsewhere in the league, Orlando ended a six-game losing streak with a 121-114 win over Chicago, Detroit beat Toronto 114-111 for its ninth win in 10 games, and Boston defeated New Orleans 108-100.
Nikola Vucevic had 33 points and 11 rebounds and Victor Oladipo also scored 33 points for the Magic, which shot a season-high 59 percent from the field.
Orlando had lost three in a row and 12 of 15 against the Bulls since the start of the 2010-11 season. In Toronto, Brandon Jennings had 34 points and 10 assists and Greg Monroe had 22 points and 10 rebounds as the Pistons ended a four-game losing streak against Toronto.
Jonas Valanciunas scored a career-best 31 points and had 12 rebounds for the Raptors, who lost for the fifth time in six games. The Celtics won for the third time in their last 12 games.
Jared Sullinger had 27 points and 10 rebounds and rookie Marcus Smart nailed a key 3-pointer in the closing minute.