(The Sports Xchange) - Highlights from National Basketball Association games on Thursday:
Rockets 142, Suns 116
James Harden had 33 of his 48 points during the Houston Rockets’ 90-point first-half explosion that led to a 142-116 rout of the Phoenix Suns on Thursday.
The 90 first-half points by Houston were the most in franchise history and the second-most in NBA history.
Phoenix still holds the league record, putting up 107 points in the first half of a 173-143 win against Paul Westhead’s run-and-gun Denver Nuggets on Nov. 10, 1990.
Houston had scored 45 points or more in a quarter 15 times in franchise history before managing the feat in both the first and second quarters on Thursday.
The Suns came into the game allowing an NBA-worst 115.1 points a game but Houston blew by that number late in the third quarter.
Harden was 12-of-22 from the field and a perfect 18-of-18 from the free-throw line after going 19-of-19 against the Toronto Raptors on Tuesday. He now has the most free throws without a miss (37) over a two-game span in NBA history.
Celtics 92, Warriors 88
Kyrie Irving shed his protective face mask in the third quarter, then shed the Golden State Warriors in the fourth.
Irving, having an off night offensively, scored 11 points in the final 4:20 as the Boston Celtics roared from behind to their 14th straight victory, a 92-88 decision over the defending NBA champions.
The loss ended a seven-game winning streak for the Warriors (11-4).
Irving, who suffered a slight facial fracture last week, was just 4-of-16 from the floor, but drained two free throws to break an 88-88 tie with 14 seconds remaining.
Rookie Jayson Tatum hit two more with 6.7 seconds left as the Celtics (14-2) matched their longest winning streak since 2009.
The franchise record is 19 in a row.