Houston’s James Harden scored 34 points to lead the Rockets to a convincing 105-83 win over Golden State, strengthening their hold on second place in the NBA’s Southwest Division.
Elsewhere, Oklahoma City’s dominance of New Orleans continued, as did Portland’s over lowly Utah, while Boston jumped Denver and hung on for victory.
Harden shot 13 for 22 from the field and 7 for 9 on free throws two nights after shooting 3 for 17 — including 0 for 10 on three-pointers.
Houston’s Dwight Howard had 22 points and 18 rebounds, going 12 for 20 on free throws as the Rockets finished 25 for 39 from the line.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 22 points and five assists, but was just 5 of 14 from the field while making all 11 free-throw attempts.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 29 points as the Thunder beat New Orleans 109-95, their ninth-straight defeat of New Orleans.
Russell Westbrook added 25 for the Thunder.
Ryan Anderson scored 18 for the Pelicans, who were again without power forward Anthony Davis and lost Tyreke Evans to a sprained ankle late in the third quarter.
Portland’s Wesley Matthews scored 24 points as the Trail Blazers beat Utah 130-98 to make it 15 wins from 16 against the Jazz.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 20 points and 15 rebounds for the Northwest Division leaders, who set a franchise record with 17 three-pointers.
Boston’s Kris Humphries came off the bench and had a season-high 18 points and seven rebounds for the Celtics, who scored the first 14 points of the game against Denver and held on for a 106-99 win.
Jordan Crawford had 22 points and eight assists for the Celtics, who are 1.5 games clear atop the Atlantic Division despite a 9-12 record that would rank no better than fifth in any division in the Western Conference.
Ty Lawson scored 20 points for the Nuggets.
Atlanta’s Kyle Korver set the NBA record for consecutive games with a three-pointer as the Hawks beat Cleveland 108-89 on Friday.
Korver’s has at least one three-pointer in 90-straight games, breaking the mark set by Dana Barros.
Al Horford scored 22 points to lead the Hawks.
Dion Waiters scored a season-high 30 points for the Cavaliers, but starters Kyrie Irving and Alonzo Gee went scoreless.
Phoenix’s Markieff Morris made his first 11 shots in a 25-point performance, which led the Suns to a 106-97 win over Toronto.
Charlotte’s Jeffery Taylor matched a career high with 20 points, leading six Bobcats in double figures, who combined for a 105-78 win over Philadelphia.
Los Angeles’ Jodie Meeks made two three-pointers in the final minutes to finish with 19 points and lift the Lakers past Sacramento 106-100 in what was expected to be their last game before Kobe Bryant returns.
Milwaukee’s Khris Middleton scored a career-high 29 points as the Bucks outlasted Washington and won 109-105 in overtime.
New York ended a run of seven-straight home losses with a 121-83 win over Orlando, with Carmelo Anthony scoring 20 points and collecting 11 rebounds.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Steve Ballmer is buying the Forum for US$400 million, ending the billionaire’s legal fight with Madison Square Garden Co (MSG) and clearing the way to build a new arena for his NBA team down the street in Inglewood, California. Ballmer on Tuesday announced his cash purchase of the venerated arena. Ballmer, a former Microsoft executive, and Clippers vice chairman Dennis Wong are making the transaction through CAPSS LLC, a newly formed entity that would continue to operate the Forum as a live music venue. “This is an unprecedented time, but we believe in our collective future,” Ballmer said.
DISSENT: The US track and field body joined sports officials in Norway and Brazil, as well as Indian athletes, in calling on the IOC to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 organizers have started drafting possible alternatives to holding the Olympics this summer, two sources familiar with the talks said, in contrast to the Japanese government’s stance that postponement is not an option. While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted sports events around the world, Japan has been steadfast in saying that the Games would go on. A Japanese government spokesman on Wednesday said that Tokyo was not preparing for postponement. “Finally, we have been asked to make a simulation in case of a postponement,” said one of the sources, an official close to the organizing committee who is involved in drafting the
PROUD, BUT BOWING OUT: The Dallas center missed all of 2018 due to Guillain-Barre syndrome, but Travis Frederick returned to be a standout again last season Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick on Monday stunningly announced his retirement. Frederick, who turned 29 on Wednesday last week, was a Pro Bowl selection in five of his six NFL seasons. Frederick revealed his retirement in a lengthy letter, beginning it by writing: “After much consideration, discussion, and reflection, I have decided to retire from football. This was not an easy decision.” Frederick cited his bout with autoimmune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome as a factor. He missed the 2018 season due to the illness in which the body’s immune system attacks the nervous system, but he returned to be a standout again last
EXPENDITURE: Tokyo Games organizing committee CEO Toshiro Muto said that ‘additional expenses are going to be quite massive’ to reschedule the Olympics The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is working with sports bodies to arrange a July-to-August window next year for the postponed Tokyo Olympics and hopes to confirm the schedule within a month, Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun reported yesterday. John Coates, head of the IOC’s coordination commission for the Tokyo Olympics, told the newspaper that the Games would have to be held between the tennis Grand Slams of Wimbledon, scheduled to end in mid-July, and the US Open, which starts in late August. “We want to more or less finalize the dates in four weeks’ time,” the newspaper quoted Coates as saying. Coates, who is also