James Harden scored 41 points, while Jeremy Lin had 26 as they led Houston’s rally over Portland in overtime to claim the Rockets’ fifth straight victory.
The Trail Blazers led by three in overtime after two free throws by Wesley Matthews, but the Rockets took over from there, using an 8-2 run with a three-pointer from Harden and four from Lin to make it 116-113 with 35.4 seconds left. The Taiwanese-American then sank two free throws to cap the scoring.
Houston mounted the rally after Harden hit a three-pointer with seconds left in regulation to send it to overtime.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 28 points and 12 rebounds, but managed just two points in overtime.
Dwight Howard had 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Chandler Parsons scored 16 for Houston, who moved up to third place overall in the NBA Western Conference, two games ahead of the Trail Blazers.
The Rockets’ Texan rivals the Dallas Mavericks also had an impressive victory on Sunday, beating Eastern Conference leaders Indiana and sending the Pacers to a worrying fourth defeat in a row.
Dallas led Indiana by 17 points in the first half and saw almost all that lead whittled away before steadying in the closing stages to win 105-94.
Monta Ellis and Devin Harris scored 20 points apiece. Ellis, who also had eight rebounds, put the game away in the final two minutes with a pair of jumpers for the Mavericks, who got 41 points from their benchplayers against just four from the Pacers’ reserves.
Indiana’s only succor is that nearest East rivals Miami also keep losing, dropping a third straight at Chicago on Sunday.
Chicago beat Miami 95-88 after overtime, with Jimmy Butler stripping the ball from LeBron James at the end of regulation time to prevent the Heat from winning.
Joakim Noah had 20 points and 12 rebounds, while D.J. Augustin had 22 for the Bulls.
Dwyane Wade scored 25 for Miami, but with James struggling again (17 points on eight-of-23 shooting), the Heat again failed to make up ground on slumping Indiana.
Elsewhere in the NBA, Golden State won their fourth straight by beating Phoenix 113-107 to open a three-game gap between the Pacific teams, with Stephen Curry overcoming a strained right quad to finish with 18 points and nine assists.
David Lee had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Warriors, who built an 18-point lead early in the fourth before the Suns surged back.
Gerald Green had 25 points and six rebounds for the Suns, who dropped into a tie with Memphis for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.
Also on Sunday, Oklahoma City missed a chance to overtake idle San Antonio for the West lead, as the Thunder lost 114-110 at the Lakers, who are last in the division.
In other NBA action, Kyle Lowry had his fourth career triple-double as the Raptors beat Minnesota 111-104, Brooklyn’s Marcus Thornton lifted the Nets to a 104-89 win over Sacramento, New Orleans came from 16 points down to defeat Denver 111-107 in overtime and Boston notched their second-highest score of the season to edge Detroit 118-111.