(The Sports Xchange) – Houston guard James Harden scored eight straight points in the final minutes as the Rockets held off a furious Washington Wizards comeback to secure a 114-107 win.
The Wizards trailed by 25 points early in the third quarter and were down 94-79 after three quarters.
Harden finished with 25 points and center Dwight Howard had 23, while John Wall paced the Wizards with 23 points and 10 assists.
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Raptors 96, Nets 80
DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points and grabbed seven rebounds and the Toronto Raptors snapped the Brooklyn Nets’ five-game winning streak with a 96-80 victory.
Terrence Ross added 14 points and Patrick Patterson also had 14 points while grabbing 12 rebounds after coming off the bench for the Raptors (18-17).
Paul Pierce led the Nets (15-22) with 15 points while Alan Anderson had 13 and Joe Johnson 11 respectively.
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Knicks 102, 76ers 92
The New York Knicks won their fourth consecutive game, this time a resounding 102-92 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Amare Stoudemire knocked down his first eight shots and paced the Knicks (14-22) with 21 points on eight-for-10 shooting while Carmelo Anthony added 18 points.
J.R. Smith scored 14 points and Andrea Bargnani had 10 for the Knicks, who crept within four games of the Atlantic Division-leading Toronto Raptors.
Meanwhile, the Sixers’ slide continued as they dropped their fourth consecutive game and fell to 12-25.
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Pistons 110, Suns 108
Josh Smith had 25 points, including the winning layup with 1.2 seconds left, as the Detroit Pistons held off the Phoenix Suns 110-108.
Greg Monroe supplied 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Pistons, who gave away an 18-point lead in the second half but still snapped a five-game home losing streak.
Brandon Jennings tied Isiah Thomas’s franchise record with 16 assists in the first half. Thomas had a 16-assist half against Dallas on Feb. 13, 1985.
Jennings finished with 18 assists, one shy of his career high.
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Bulls 103, Bobcats 97
D.J. Augustin piled up 20 points and 12 assists against his former team as the Chicago Bulls pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 103-97 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Joakim Noah added 19 points and 14 rebounds and Mike Dunleavy scored 17 points for Chicago (17-18).
The Bulls won their fifth straight game while Charlotte (15-23) have dropped eight of their last nine.
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Thunder 101, Bucks 85
Kevin Durant scored 33 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 101-85 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Durant shot only eight-for-18 from the field but was 15-of-17 from the free throw line to go along with 10 rebounds and seven assists.
Thunder forward Serge Ibaka added 17 points, 17 rebounds and three blocked shots.
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Mavericks 110, Pelicans 107
Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 of a season-high 40 points in the third quarter and drained two crucial free throws in the final 20 seconds to help Dallas fend off the New Orleans Pelicans 110-107.
Nowitzki, 10-for-20 from the floor and 15-for-16 from the free throw line, missed only his first and last shots of the third quarter as the Mavericks built an 11-point lead.
It was the second consecutive victory for the Mavericks (22-16) against the Pelicans (15-21), who suffered their fifth consecutive defeat.
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Nuggets 120, Magic 94
Guards Randy Foye and Evan Fournier scored 18 points each, forward Kenneth Faried had 17 points and nine rebounds and the Denver Nuggets routed the Orlando Magic 120-94 for their fifth straight win.
Forward Quincy Miller, starting in place of injured forward Wilson Chandler, had career highs in points (16) and rebounds (11).
Seven Denver (19-17) players scored in double figures. Forward Tobias Harris had 22 points and nine rebounds and center Glen Davis scored 20 points for the Magic (10-27), who have lost seven straight.
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Trail Blazers 112, Celtics 104
Forward LaMarcus Aldridge’s 21 points and 13 rebounds paced the Portland Trail Blazers to a come-from-behind 112-104 victory over the Boston Celtics.
Aldridge led six players in double figures for the Trail Blazers (28-9), including guard Wesley Matthews with 18 points and forward Nicolas Batum with 16.
Guard Avery Bradley tallied 25 points for the Celtics (13-25), who lost their eighth straight game.