James Harden scored a career-high 50 points with 10 rebounds to lead the Houston Rockets to a 118-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Thursday night.
Harden eclipsed his previous career-best of 46, set in 2013, on a free throw with about a minute remaining. On Houston’s next possession, Trevor Ariza found him in the corner and he swished a three under heavy pressure, to make it 50.
Six straight points by the Nuggets cut the lead to 8 with about five minutes left when the Rockets made the next five points, capped by a step back jump shot from Harden, to make it 104-91. Harden scored seven points after that to secure the victory.
It was the 29th game Harden had at least 30 points.
JAZZ 80, LAKERS 73
In Los Angeles, Gordon Hayward scored 22 points, Trey Burke added 17 off the bench and the Utah Jazz sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their 50th loss of the season.
The Jazz, coming off an 88-84 loss against that Washington that ended a season-best six-game winning streak, are 12-2 since the All-Star break.
The loss was the fourth in a row for the lottery-bound Lakers, who have dropped 25 of their last 30.
TIMBERWOLVES 95, KNICKS 92
In New York, Zach LaVine made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 10.7 seconds left and scored six of his 20 points in overtime, as the Minnesota Timberwolves outlasted the New York Knicks in a matchup of the NBA’s biggest losers.
Minnesota (15-53) ended a six-game losing streak and snapped a tie with the Knicks (14-54) for the NBA’s worst record. New York can still win for losing, and now have pole position in the race for the No. 1 draft pick.
Kevin Martin scored 22 points and Andrew Wiggins had 20 for Minnesota, despite shooting four for 17 from the field. Gorgui Dieng finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds, and his blocked shot triggered the fast break that set up LaVine’s free throws.
SUNS 74, PELICANS 72
In Phoenix, Arizona, Brandan Wright scored 16 points and matched his career high with seven blocked shots, helping the Phoenix Suns to a sluggish cold-shooting victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, who were playing without star Anthony Davis.
Davis rolled his left ankle in the team’s shootaround and his availability for the game at Golden State was uncertain.
The loss dropped New Orleans a game behind Oklahoma City for the eighth playoff spot in the West. Phoenix are two behind Oklahoma City and one behind the Pelicans.
Eric Gordon scored 14 for the Pelicans.
Japanese couple Rikiya and Ayumi Kataoka had their honeymoon wrecked by the COVID-19 pandemic, but their resourcefulness in enforced exile in Cape Verde has won them appointments as ambassadors for its Olympic team. The Kataokas had completed a third of their round-the-world trip when a suspension in long-haul flights stranded them for five months in the archipelago of 10 tiny islands off the coast of West Africa. Unable to resume their journey to Europe and then home to Japan, and unwilling to head to the African mainland, where virus cases are spiking, they had to trade their skills with domestic businesses to
WEEKEND MATCHES: While Tatung FC made good on their chances early on, Taiwan Steel rallied to win the game 2-3 and move to the top with Taichung Futuro Sunday’s action saw Taichung Futuro, Taipower FC and Taiwan Steel tied for first place on 30 points in the Taiwan Football Premier League, while Hang Yuan FC picked up a point to take the No. 4 spot on 25 points after holding Taipower to a scoreless draw. In Taoyuan, Tatung FC hosted Taiwan Steel. It was an exciting matchup, as the visitors rallied from 2-0 down to take the game with three goals. Tatung made good on their chances early on. Honduran midfielder Elias Argueta opened the account 15 minutes into the game with a low shot from the right. Three minutes
Ronnie O’Sullivan delivered a scathing attack on the next generation of snooker players after he made the quarter-finals of the World Snooker Championship on Sunday, ending Chinese star Ding Junhui’s world championship dream. The mercurial 44-year-old Englishman won an enthralling high-quality second-round encounter 13-10 to set up a quarter-final clash with three-time champion Mark Williams. When asked by the BBC whether he thought he would remain at the top of the game for this long, the Briton, who turned professional in 1992, said the poor quality of younger players had secured his position and that something drastic would have to happen
Max Verstappen informed his Red Bull team that he would not be driving “like a grandma” in Formula One’s 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday — and he was as good as his word. The Dutch 22-year-old seized his opportunity at Silverstone, ending dominant Mercedes’ run of four successive wins this season and moving up to second place overall, 30 points behind leader Lewis Hamilton. Verstappen’s confidence shone through early on, after slotting into third place behind the two Mercedes, when he was told by race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase to take care of his tires. “Mate, this is the only chance of being