James Harden recorded a 50-point triple-double, and the Houston Rockets fended off the hot-shooting Sacramento Kings for a 119-108 victory on Saturday at Toyota Center.
Harden posted his ninth 50-point game on the season while producing 50 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. With the Rockets clinging to a 101-100 lead midway through the fourth quarter, Harden sank three free throws, converted back-to-back floaters, and added a 3-pointer to extend the advantage to 111-102. Harden reached 50 points with two free throws with 48.8 seconds remaining. The 50-point triple-double was the fifth of his career.
Clint Capela added 24 points and 15 rebounds, while Chris Paul chipped in 22 points and five assists for the Rockets. The Kings were officially eliminated from playoff contention after going 0 for 5 from behind the arc in the fourth quarter. The Kings entered the period 15 of 24 on 3s.
Bogdan Bogdanovic paced the Kings with 24 points off the bench, while Buddy Hield added 21 points and De’Aaron Fox paired 18 points with 10 assists.
Magic 121, Pacers 116
Khem Birch gave visiting Orlando the lead for good with a dunk in the second minute of the fourth quarter en route to a win over Indiana in an important game for both teams.
A seventh win in their past eight games allowed the Magic (38-39) to move within one game of .500 in a tightly bunched group of five teams vying for the final three playoff spots in the Eastern Conference.
Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists, with more than half his points coming on four 3-pointers. Darren Collison led Indiana with 24 points to go with nine assists, and Bojan Bogdanovic had 22 points.
76ers 118, Timberwolves 109
Tobias Harris scored 25 points, and Ben Simmons had 20 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists to lift visiting Philadelphia over Minnesota.
Jonah Bolden scored a career-high 19 points, JJ Redick added 16 and Jimmy Butler had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Mike Scott also had 10 points off the bench. All-Star center Joel Embiid sat out for the Sixers for load management, but they managed to win their second in a row.
Andrew Wiggins paced the Timberwolves with 24 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns added 21. Gorgui Dieng chipped in 13.
Pistons 99, Trail Blazers 90
Suddenly short-handed Detroit snapped Portland’s win streak at six with a home victory.
The Pistons, who improved to 39-37, have won 11 in a row at home. Detroit won in an unlikely way, losing star forward Blake Griffin shortly before tipoff and catching fire only after a woeful first half of shooting and offense. Reggie Jackson scored a game-high 28 points, and Andre Drummond added 22, to lead Detroit.
The Blazers fell to 48-28, including 19-19 on the road. Enes Kanter, who has been starting at center for Portland, had 20 points and a team-high 15 rebounds.
Nets 110, Celtics 96
D’Angelo Russell scored 20 of his 29 points in the third quarter to lead host Brooklyn over short-handed Boston.
Russell added 10 assists, Caris LeVert scored 15 points and DeMarre Carroll and Joe Harris chipped in 13 each as the Nets put a 2-5 road trip behind them in their first home game since March 11. Brooklyn (39-38) remained in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
Gordon Hayward had 19 points, and Marcus Morris and Daniel Theis added 16 apiece for the Celtics, who lost to the Nets for just the second time in their last 13 meetings.
Heat 100, Knicks 92
Dion Waiters had a season-high 28 points and added six assists as Miami defeated host New York.
The Heat (38-38), who have a tenuous hold on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, won their second straight game and reached .500 for the first time since Jan. 27.
Miami got double-doubles from Goran Dragic (10 points, 10 assists), Kelly Olynyk (12 points, 11 rebounds) and Hassan Whiteside (17 points, 13 rebounds). New York’s leading scorers were Emmanuel Mudiay (24 points), Luke Kornet (17) and Kevin Knox (16).
Clippers 132, Cavaliers 108
Montrezl Harrell scored 23 points off the bench as host Los Angeles recorded its 12th win in 14 outings by defeating Cleveland.
Harrell shot 10 of 13 from the floor, and rookie Shai Gilgeous-Alexander went 9 of 12 to finish with 22 points for the Clippers (46-31), who also posted a 110-108 victory over Cleveland on March 22.
Jordan Clarkson scored 26 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the floor, and rookie Collin Sexton added 21 for the Cavaliers (19-58), who fell to 6-32 on the road.
Raptors 124, Bulls 101
Serge Ibaka scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, and visiting Toronto defeated Chicago.
Fred VanVleet also scored 23 points for the Raptors, who have won nine in a row over the Bulls, including all four meetings between the teams this season. The teams were meeting for the second time in five days.
Marc Gasol finished with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Toronto. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 18 points and added 10 rebounds for the Bulls.
Grizzlies 120, Suns 115
Jonas Valanciunas scored 14 of his career-best 34 points in the fourth quarter and also collected 20 rebounds as Memphis posted a road win over Phoenix.
Mike Conley added 33 points for Memphis, which survived 48 points by Phoenix’s Devin Booker. The Suns star was 19-of-29 shooting while looking for his third straight 50-point game after scoring 59 and 50 in his previous two games.
Deandre Ayton had 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Suns before leaving with a sprained left ankle with 3:03 left in the third quarter. The rookie center exited shortly after scoring a basket and noticeably expressed his anguish on the way back upcourt.
—Field Level Media