• Rockets extend winning run

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    Zaza Pachulia No.27 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against James Harden No.13 of the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Center on Saturday in Dallas, Texas. AFP PHOTO

    Zaza Pachulia No.27 of the Dallas Mavericks drives to the basket against James Harden No.13 of the Houston Rockets at American Airlines Center on Saturday in Dallas, Texas. AFP PHOTO

    LOS ANGELES: James Harden hit a step back jump shot with 7.4 seconds to go as the Houston Rockets continued their winning streak with 100-96 over the Dallas Mavericks on Friday (Saturday in Manila).

    Harden also had nine assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets against their NBA Southwest Division rivals.

    Harden scored 11 points in the third quarter after just three-of-12 shooting in the first half. He then turned it on down the stretch with two clutch baskets and a timely assist as the Rockets improved to 9-11 to move another step closer to .500 on the season.

    Houston also won for the first time this season when Harden did not take at least 10 free throws.

    Dallas’ defense limited Harden to just five free-throw attempts, while also holding him to just one-of-six from beyond the arc in front of a crowd of 20,300 at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.

    Houston won without center Dwight Howard who was given the night off.

    Guard Deron Williams led the Mavericks with 22 points and six assists.

    German forward Dirk Nowitzki had 16 points, 10 rebounds and four assists in the loss. He gave the home fans a bit of a scare when he headed to the locker room with a left ankle issue before returning halfway through the fourth.

    Pelicans snap losing streak
    Forward Anthony Davis shook off an injury to his lower left leg to score six of his 31 points in overtime as the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 114-108 at the Smoothie King Center.

    “This is the game where we get our mojo back,” said Davis. “It was tough … We just stayed together, stayed poised until we hit a big three.”

    Davis added 12 rebounds and four steals as the Pelicans snapped a four-game losing streak and recorded their fifth consecutive home victory over the Cavaliers.

    The Pelicans survived in overtime after the Cavaliers rallied from an 11-point deficit in the fourth quarter. James erupted for 23 of his game-high 37 points in the fourth, including a go-ahead layup against Davis with 30 seconds left.

    Beal tallies season high
    Bradley Beal scored a season-high 34 points and host Washington Wizards fought back in the second half to beat Phoenix 109-106.

    John Wall had 17 points and nine assists for the Wizards, who had lost five of their previous six games. Eric Bledsoe scored 22 points and guard Brandon Knight had 19 for the Suns.

    Balanced attack sinks Lakers
    Al Horford scored 16 points to lead five Atlanta players in double figures as the Hawks dominated the hapless Los Angeles Lakers 100-87.

    Atlanta got off to a quick start and led by 19 points in the second quarter.

    Kobe Bryant, who scored 31 points Wednesday at Washington to help the Lakers snap a seven-game losing streak, scored 14 points in the third stop of his farewell road tour while shooting only four-for-19, including two-for-10 from behind the three point line.

    AFP

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