(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights of Wednesday’s National Basketball Association games:
Lakers 122, Rockets 116
Rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 38 points, and the Los Angeles Lakers snapped the Houston Rockets’ 14-game winning streak with a 122-116 upset victory Wednesday night.
Houston had its streak end despite James Harden pouring in 51 points and adding nine assists. The Rockets also lost for the first time with guard Chris Paul in their lineup.
Paul departed early in the fourth quarter with a sore left leg and did not return after posting eight points, five assists and five rebounds over 25 minutes.
Los Angeles snapped its three-game skid by torching Houston’s defense, with Kuzma scoring 24 of his 38 points in the first half on 9-for-9 shooting. The Lakers, playing without starters Brook Lopez (ankle) and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope (personal reasons), had six double-digit scorers, with reserve forward Corey Brewer tallying a season-high 21 points.
Warriors 97, Grizzlies 84
Golden State limited Memphis to 10 field goals in the second half, allowing the defending NBA champs to gradually pull away for a hard-earned victory, their 10th win in a row.
Klay Thompson had a game-high 29 points and Kevin Durant added 22 for the Warriors, but the duo combined for just nine points in the second half, when Golden State’s defense dominated the game.
Memphis lost for the 16th time in 18 games. Marc Gasol overcame 5-for-15 shooting to score a team-high 21 points for the Grizzlies.
Heat 90, Celtics 89
Kelly Olynyk scored a career-high 32 points to lead undermanned Miami to a stunning upset of Boston.
Celtics star Kyrie Irving missed an open 20-foot jumper at the buzzer. He helped Boston recover from a late 11-point deficit and finished with 33 points.
Olynyk, who had 25 points in the second half, played the first four years of his NBA career with the Celtics before signing a four-year, $50 million contract with the Heat. Josh Richardson added 19 points for the Heat, who were playing without four starters.
Thunder 107, Jazz 79
Russell Westbrook finished three assists shy of his 11th triple-double of the season — 24 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists — and Oklahoma City defeated Utah to move over .500 for the first time since Halloween.
Carmelo Anthony and Paul George finished with 18 points each for the Thunder, whose eight wins through the first three weeks of December match their total through the first two months of the season.
Rodney Hood scored 17 points to lead the Jazz, who have lost seven of eight. Utah ended a six-game road trip with another loss — its 13th in 16 games away from home this season.
Timberwolves 112, Denver 104
Jimmy Butler had 25 points, including nine during a key stretch of the fourth quarter, and the Minnesota rallied to beat Denver.
Karl-Anthony Towns also scored 25 and grabbed 10 rebounds, Jamal Crawford had 20 points and seven assists, and Jeff Teague contributed 16 points and eight assists for Minnesota, which overcame a 14-point deficit.
Denver’s Nikola Jokic returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench the previous two games. He finished with 22 points but also committed 10 turnovers. Jamal Murray led Denver with 30 points, and Mason Plumlee had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Spurs 93, Trail Blazers 91
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and eight rebounds, and Pau Gasol collected 20 points, 17 rebounds and five assists as San Antonio seized a victory over Portland.
Aldridge sank 1 of 2 at the line to give the Spurs a 93-91 advantage with 15.4 seconds left before CJ McCollum missed a pair of shots in the closing seconds.
Damian Lillard scored 17 points for the Trail Blazers, who lost for the fifth straight time at home.
Mavericks 110, Pistons 93
Dennis Smith Jr. scored 15 points in his return to spark Dallas to a win over Detroit.
Smith, who added five assists and five rebounds in 21 minutes, missed the previous six games with a hip strain, and the Mavericks had lost three straight. Mavs forward Harrison Barnes led all scorers with 25 points.
Anthony Tolliver paced Detroit, which had won three straight, with 18 points.
Pacers 105, Hawks 95
Bojan Bogdanovic, who made the errant pass that cost Indiana a victory against NBA East-leading Boston on Monday, scored 19 points in the win over Atlanta.
The Pacers were led Victor Oladipo with 23 points, including three 3-pointers. Oladipo scored 13 points in the second half. Myles Turner added 20 points.
The Hawks were led by rookie John Collins with 18 points and nine rebounds. Marco Belinelli and Kent Bazemore each scored 13.
Clippers 108, Suns 95
Austin Rivers scored 21 points, while Lou Williams had 18 off the bench as Los Angeles ran away with a victory over Phoenix.
The Clippers held Phoenix to 31.9 percent shooting in the first half and 36.1 percent for the game. Los Angeles’ DeAndre Jordan hauled down 20 rebounds and added 12 points.
TJ Warren finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Josh Jackson had 17 for the Suns, who saw their two-game win streak end. They have yet to win three consecutive games this season.
Bulls 112, Magic 94
Denzel Valentine scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, Kris Dunn and Nikola Mirotic each scored 15 points, and Chicago never trailed in defeating Orlando for its seventh straight win.
The Bulls’ Bobby Portis finished with 14 points, Jerian Grant had 13, and Robin Lopez scored 10. Mirotic also grabbed 10 rebounds.
Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Elfrid Payton and D.J. Augustin finished with 14 points. Orlando was playing without three opening-night starters.
Kings 104, Nets 99
Zach Randolph scored 21 points and became the 39th player in NBA history to get 10,000 career rebounds as Sacramento nearly blew a 21-point lead before holding on for a victory over Brooklyn.
It was the second milestone this month for Randolph, who shot 8 of 11 and finished with eight rebounds. On Dec. 2 at Milwaukee, he became the 11th active player with 18,000 points.
George Hill led the Kings with 22 points after missing Tuesday’s comeback win in Philadelphia with an illness. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 16 points while DeMarre Carroll added 15 as Brooklyn lost its fourth straight game.
Raptors 129, Hornets 111
DeMar DeRozan led the way with 28 points despite not playing in the fourth quarter, Serge Ibaka scored 24, and Toronto routed Charlotte.
OG Anunoby added 20 points, including 6-of-7 shooting from 3-point range for the Raptors.
Jeremy Lamb led the Hornets with a career-high 32 points. Kemba Walker and Dwight Howard finished with 15 points apiece for Charlotte, which has lost 11 of 14.