James Harden extended his streak of consecutive 30-point games to 22 but had plenty of help as the Houston Rockets claimed a 121-119, wire-to-wire victory over the visiting Toronto Raptors, who dropped back-to-back games for the first time since mid-December.
Harden continued his recent struggles from behind the 3-point line, missing 11 of 13 attempts. However, he relied on a variety of floaters and a 15-for-15 performance from the free-throw line to produce a game-high 35 points as the Rockets claimed back-to-back victories for the first time this month.
Eric Gordon gave Houston a 119-108 lead with two free throws at the 1:19 mark, then Toronto closed with a dramatic 11-2 run. Kawhi Leonard (32 points, seven rebounds, five assists) misfired on a 3-pointer at the buzzer, and the Rockets held on to win.
Kenneth Faried, making his home debut for the Rockets, posted an energetic double-double (21 points, 14 rebounds). Gordon added 24 points, PJ Tucker 18 and Austin Rivers 13 for Houston.
Jazz 106, Timberwolves 102
Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and dished out a career-high 11 assists to lead Utah to victory over Minnesota at Salt Lake City.
Rudy Gobert tallied 18 points and 16 rebounds for his 41st double-double of the season. Kyle Korver added 16 points off the bench. Utah won for the eighth time in nine games.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 33 points and collected 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota. Andrew Wiggins added 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who entered on a three-game win streak.
Bucks 108, Hornets 99
Giannis Antetokounmpo finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Milwaukee rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half to beat visiting Charlotte.
Milwaukee won its sixth straight and improved its home record to 22-4. The Bucks continue to have the best record in the NBA at 35-12.
The Hornets had won four of their previous five games. Kemba Walker, in his first game since being named a starter in the upcoming All-Star Game, left with 2:06 remaining after sustaining what the team called a neck strain in a scrum for a loose ball.
Mavericks 106, Pistons 101
One night after the media and players’ votes overrode the will of the fans to make rookie sensation Luka Doncic an All-Star starter, Dallas’ 19-year-old standout totaled 32 points, eight assists and eight rebounds in a victory over visiting Detroit.
Along with Doncic, recently embattled Mavs guard Dennis Smith Jr. showed off his explosiveness with 19 points and five assists to give the Mavericks back-to-back home wins.
Dallas’ dynamic backcourt erased a spectacular performance by Pistons forward Blake Griffin, who is practically a shoo-in to be selected as an All-Star reserve next week. He was a one-man show for Detroit, collecting a game-high 35 points, plus seven rebounds and four assists.
Nets 109, Knicks 99
Rookie Theo Pinson totaled career highs of 19 points and eight rebounds as surging Brooklyn extended its winning streak to six games by beating visiting New York.
The Nets also extended their home winning streak to eight games. Brooklyn is 19-5 in its last 24 games, equaling the best 24-game stretch in franchise history, which has been done eight times and not since 2006.
The Nets recorded their latest win by dominating the glass on a commanding 60-33 margin, making 32 of 47 free-throw attempts and getting 72 points from reserves.
Nuggets 132, Suns 95
All five Denver starters and three reserves scored in double figures, and Denver used a late second-quarter surge to take control and defeat visiting Phoenix.
Paul Millsap scored 20 points while recording nine rebounds and three steals to pace Denver. Nikola Jokic, the Nuggets’ leader in scoring, rebounding and assists, was not in the arena after being suspended by the league earlier Friday for leaving the bench area during a scrum in Wednesday’s loss to Utah.
The Suns have lost seven straight since beating the Nuggets on Jan. 12. Phoenix was coming off a 14-point loss to Portland on Thursday and is now 0-9 in the second game of a back-to-back this season. Devin Booker scored a game-high 35 points.
Wizards 95, Magic 91
Jeff Green scored 24 points, including the go-ahead bucket in the final minute, and Washington escaped Orlando.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 27 points — the final two to tie the game with 76 seconds remaining — and added six rebounds and seven assists. Washington is 8-5 since losing John Wall in December and improved to 6-2 in games on the second night of a back-to-back this season.
Nikola Vucevic led all scorers with 28 points to go along with nine rebounds for the Magic. Aaron Gordon added 22 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Orlando has lost five of its last six games.
Clippers 106, Bulls 101
Lou Williams scored 31 points and sealed a triple-double in the closing seconds, while Tobias Harris added 29 points, as visiting Los Angeles overcame Chicago despite two of three team buses arriving late to the arena.
Williams recorded the second triple-double from a player off the bench this season and the first one off the bench with at least 30 points since Detlef Schrempf in 1992.
Zach LaVine scored 29 points for the Bulls, who lost for the 12th time in their last 13 games and fell to 6-19 under head coach Jim Boylen.
Heat 100, Cavaliers 94
Justise Winslow scored 27 points to lead visiting Miami over Cleveland.
Miami, which trailed by five points at halftime, used an 18-5 third-quarter run to help secure the victory. Winslow, who had seven rebounds, made 11 of 18 shots from the floor, including 4 of 6 3-pointers.
Cleveland’s Cedi Osman scored a career-high 29 points. The Cavaliers have lost 18 of their past 19 games, including nine in a row at home and six straight overall.
Kings 99, Grizzlies 96
Sacramento scored the final seven points of the first half to take the lead and never relinquished it, outlasting host Memphis to snap a two-game losing streak.
Buddy Hield had 26 points and De’Aaron Fox 22 for the Kings, who won for the second time in five games on their six-stop trip that ends Sunday against the Los Angeles Clippers.
The loss was the eighth straight for the Grizzlies, who got 18 points off the bench from ex-Kings forward Omri Casspi.
—Field Level Media