Solomon Hill on Friday night scored a career-high 30 points to help the New Orleans Pelicans overcome the absence of All-Star DeMarcus Cousins in a 128-112 upset over the Houston Rockets.
Anthony Davis had 24 points and 15 rebounds for New Orleans, who have won three of four. Jrue Holiday added 19 points, despite early foul trouble.
James Harden had 41 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists, but that was not enough to prevent Houston’s first loss in four games. Lou Williams added 14 points and Montrezl Harrell 13.
Cousins was sidelined by left knee and rib soreness. New Orleans are now 2-0 without Cousins and 3-7 when he has played since trading for him on Feb. 19.
Pelicans rookie guard Wayne Selden scored 11 points in his third career NBA game.
CELTICS 98, NETS 95
In New York, Jae Crowder scored nine of his 24 points late in the fourth quarter and Avery Bradley had 16 overall as Boston edged Brooklyn.
Al Horford added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Celtics, who were playing without All-Star Isaiah Thomas. Boston’s point guard sat out the first game of a two-game road trip.
Thomas, second in the NBA in scoring with 29.2 points per game, bruised his right knee in Wednesday night’s win over the Minnesota Timberwolves after a hard fall.
Boston moved within two games of the idle Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Brook Lopez led the Nets with 23 points and Randy Foye added 14 for Brooklyn.
HEAT 123, TIMBERWOLVES 105
In Miami, Hassan Whiteside scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, while Tyler Johnson scored 23 off the bench as Miami downed Minnesota.
Goran Dragic scored 19 points and added 10 assists for Miami, who lost Dion Waiters to an ankle injury in the second quarter, but moved to 23-5 in their past 28 games overall and 15-1 in their past 16 at home.
James Johnson scored 17 for the Heat, who never trailed and put the game away with a 15-2 run in the fourth quarter.
Karl-Anthony Towns had 31 points and 11 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were 21 for 22 from the foul line.
BUCKS 107, LAKERS 103
In Los Angeles, Khris Middleton scored 14 of his season-high 30 points in the fourth quarter, while Greg Monroe added 12 points before his ejection as Milwaukee kept up their furious playoff push with their eighth victory in nine games.
Monroe and Lakers guards D’Angelo Russell and Nick Young were ejected with 36 seconds left in the third quarter after a fracas started by Malcolm Brogdon’s hard foul on Young, who shoved back. Monroe then shoved Young, and Russell shoved Monroe while every player on the court got involved.
Jordan Clarkson scored 21 points for the Lakers, who trimmed Milwaukee’s lead from 18 points to 103-100 with 7.9 seconds left.
WIZARDS 112, BULLS 107
In Washington, Bradley Beal scored 24 points and John Wall dished out a career-high 20 assists to go with 14 points as Washington held on to defeat Chicago.
Playing their first game since Dwyane Wade suffered a fractured elbow that will keep him out for the rest of the regular season, the Bulls rallied from 19 points down and had a chance to tie it, but Jimmy Butler missed a three-pointer with 3.9 seconds left.
Butler finished with 28 points, while Robin Lopez added a season-high 25 points and 12 rebounds.
Washington’s Jason Smith, starting in place of Markieff Morris, who was a late scratch due to illness, tied his season high with 17 points.