Rockets blow past Trail Blazers

PORTLAND — James Harden had 33 points and short-handed Houston edged closer to clinching a playoff spot with a 116-98 victory over Portland on Friday.

Jeremy Lin added 22 points to help the Rockets to their fourth straight victory. Houston (43-33) remained in seventh place in the Western Conference — three games in front of the Los Angeles Lakers — for their first playoff appearance since 2008-09.

LaMarcus Aldridge returned from an ankle injury with 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Blazers (33-43), who matched their season-worst slide with a seventh straight loss.

Knicks 101, Bucks 83

At New York, Carmelo Anthony scored 41 points, tying a franchise record with this third straight 40-point game, and the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks for their 11th straight victory.

Anthony, who had 50 points and 40 in his previous two games, equaled Bernard King's 1984-85 mark. New York matched the third-longest winning streak in franchise history.

Thunder 97, Pacers 75

At Indianapolis, Kevin Durant overcame a bruised left calf to score 34 points and Russell Westbrook added 24 points, leading Oklahoma City over Indiana.

Oklahoma City (56-20) has won three straight to move into a tie with San Antonio for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Lakers 86, Grizzlies 84

At Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant had 24 points and nine assists, Pau Gasol added 19 points, and Los Angeles stayed in the final playoff position in the Western Conference with a victory over Memphis.

Dwight Howard hit a free throw with 4.1 seconds left for the Lakers, who have won three straight in the final weeks of their desperate push for a postseason spot. Los Angeles also avoided getting swept in its season series with the Grizzlies.

Mike Conley scored 21 points before missing a potential go-ahead jumper with 5 seconds left and another layup before the buzzer for playoff-bound Memphis.

Heat 89, Bobcats 79

At Charlotte, N.C., Mike Miller scored a season-high 26 points on seven 3-pointers, and injury-depleted Miami beat Charlotte.

The Heat won despite playing without stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Ray Allen, who were held out while recovering from injuries.

Warriors 111, Suns 107

At Phoenix, Stephen Curry scored 18 points and matched his career high with 15 assists, sinking two late free throws to seal Golden State's victory over Phoenix, extending the Suns' losing streak to a season-worst eight games.

Jarrett Jack's 3-pointer with 31.6 seconds to play pulled the Warriors out of serious trouble.

Cavaliers 97, Celtics 91

At Boston, Tristan Thompson had career highs with 29 points and 17 rebounds and Cleveland ended a 10-game losing streak.

Alonzo Gee also had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who held Boston to 16 points in the third quarter and held on for their first win since March 12.

Raptors 95, Timberwolves 93

At Minneapolis, Rudy Gay had 26 points and five rebounds to lead Toronto to a rare road victory in the Western Conference.

DeMar DeRozan had 25 points and Kyle Lowry added 11 points and seven assists for the Raptors, who beat the Timberwolves for the 16th time in 17 games and prevented Minnesota coach Rick Adelman from recording his 1,000th win.

Bulls 87, Magic 86

At Chicago, Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, Luol Deng finished with 19 after a slow start, and Chicago beat Orlando.

76ers 101, Hawks 90

At Atlanta, Evan Turner had 24 points and 11 rebounds, and Philadelphia opened with its highest-scoring quarter of the season and beat Atlanta.

Jazz 95, Hornets 83

At Salt Lake City, Gordon Hayward scored 23 points and Utah beat New Orleans.

Utah led by just four entering the fourth but opened the quarter on an 8-0 run, capped by Hayward's 7-foot jumper. He scored 10 straight as Utah surged ahead 87-73 with 4:47 remaining.

Mavericks 117, Kings 108

At Sacramento, Calif., Shawn Marion had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and Dallas snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Sacramento.

The Mavericks (37-39) used a 41-point second quarter to gain control of a game they desperately needed. They came in three games behind the Lakers in the chase for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.


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