LOS ANGELES: James Harden scored 32 points and Dwight Howard added 12 points and 12 rebounds to spark the Houston Rockets past Boston, 102-98, on Friday (Saturday in Manila), snapping the Celtics’ 14-game NBA home win streak.
Five days after halting Toronto’s 12-game home win streak, the Rockets ended the longest Boston home victory run since a franchise-record 18-game streak in 1990-91.
At 33-32, the Rockets are level with Dallas for the last two Western Conference playoff spots while the Celtics stumbled to 39-27, third in the Eastern Conference.
“It’s getting there,” said Harden, who is averaging 34.5 points a game over Houston’s past 13 starts. “We have one more game to finish the road trip off the right way.”
The Rockets visit Charlotte on Saturday, trying to snap the team’s longest win streak in six seasons, which rose to six games with a 118-103 Hornets home win over Detroit.
Boston had not lost at home since January 6.
“We didn’t really know what it felt like,” Celtics star Isaiah Thomas said. “It was tough getting that feeling again especially at home. I feel like we let our fans down.”
The Hornets improved to 36-28 and stayed fifth overall in the Eastern Conference. Marvin Williams scored 22 points and Frenchman Nicolas Batum added 17 points and 11 assists for Charlotte.
“It feels good, but in this league it’s all about tomorrow,” said Hornets coach Steve Clifford. “We’ve got to watch the film and figure out what we’ve got to do better. That’s how we all have to think. I just told them, two or three teams at this time of year are going to get better. It happens every year. Two or three teams are going to get better and win a playoff series or two.”
Warriors beat Trail Blazers
With both teams combining for a record 37 3-point baskets in one game, the defending champion Golden State Warriors beat visiting Portland 128-112, running the champs’ home win streak to 47 games.
Klay Thompson scored a game-high 37 points with 8-of-11 success from 3-point range while reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry hit 7-of-14 3-pointers on his way to 34 points. In all, the Warriors made 18-of-40 3-point shots while the Trail Blazers, led by C.J. McCollum’s 18 points, made 19-of-36 3-pointers.
Goran Dragic scored a game-high 25 points and added nine assists to power Miami (38-27) over the short-handed host Chicago Bulls 118-96. The Bulls (32-32) were without injured starting guards Jimmy Butler, out with a knee sprain, and Derrick Rose, sidelined by a groin strain.
Senegalese forward Gorgui Dieng scored 25 points to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 99-96 victory at Oklahoma City. Andrew Wiggins scored 20 points and Ricky Rubio posted 12 assists and 13 points, including the game-winning three-pointer as the Timberwolves improved to 21-45. Kevin Durant scored 28 points for the Thunder (44-21) while Russell Westbrook added 26 points and eight assists.
Sixers snap 13-game skid
At Philadelphia, the host 76ers snapped a 13-game losing streak with a 95-89 victory over Brooklyn.
“It seems like forever,” center Nerlens Noel said of the gap since the 76ers’ most recent prior win, also over the Nets back on February 6.
On the same day the 76ers announced rookie center Jahlil Okafor will miss the remainder of the season for knee surgery, Philadelphia lost three players to injury in the third quarter, including starting forwards Robert Covington and Jerami Grant on the same play. Covington was strapped to a backboard and taken to a hospital for neck injury worries. Grant suffered a possible concussion.
“I thought there was grit,” 76ers coach Brett Brown said. “I thought there was fight. There was no back-down.”
Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 33 points and Matt Barnes added 26 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists to lead injury-depleted Memphis to a 121-114 overtime victory over visiting New Orleans.
Shelvin Mack scored a career-high 27 points on 11-of-17 shooting to lift Utah over visiting Washington 114-93 while Chris Paul scored 24 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers in a 101-94 victory over visiting New York.
At Sacramento, Orlando’s Aaron Gordon had 20 points and 11 rebounds as the Magic beat the host Kings 107-100.