AROUND THE NBA | Monday’s games
Rockets 130, Pelicans 123
Clint Capela had a career-high 28 points and James Harden scored 12 straight points for Houston in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for a victory to extend their winning streak to 10 games. The game was tied with about three minutes remaining after Harden made two free throws. Those were the first of seven straight points by Harden that put Houston’s up 124-119 with 1:30 left. After scoring 48 points in Houston’s last game, Harden finished with 26 on Monday, but he tied a career-high with 17 assists, finding the 6-foot-10 Capela under the basket again and again. Holiday had a season-high 37 points for the Pelicans. Moore had a career-high 36 points and made a career-most six 3-pointers on a night New Orleans set a franchise record with 18 3-pointers. The Pelicans were up by 2 early in the third quarter when Holiday scored five quick points to push the lead to 89-82. Another basket by Holiday extended the lead to 13 points with about two minutes left in the quarter. But Paul outscored the Pelicans 8-2 the rest of the quarter to allow the Rockets to get within 103-96 entering the fourth. He made two 3-pointers in that stretch, with the second one coming just before the buzzer.
Bulls 108, Celtics 85
Nikola Mirotic scored 24 points, Bobby Portis added a career-high 23 and Chicago blew out Boston with Celtics star Kyrie Irving sidelined because of a bruised left quadriceps. Owners of the NBA’s worst record, the Bulls built an 18-point lead in the second quarter against the Eastern Conference leaders. Mirotic made his first start of the season with leading scorer Lauri Markkanen sidelined because of back spasms. The 6-foot-10 forward hit 9 of 14 shots and grabbed eight rebounds in his third appearance. Before Monday night, Mirotic and Portis had only made headlines together this season for the wrong reasons. Mirotic missed the first 23 games with facial fractures he suffered in a fight at practice with Portis. Al Horford scored 15 for Boston. Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart and Terry Rozier added 13 points apiece in the Celtics’ most lopsided loss of the season.
Hornets 116, Thunder 103
Dwight Howard scored 23 points to help Charlotte beat Oklahoma City. Kemba Walker had 19 points for the Hornets, who had lost seven of eight. Marvin Williams scored 18, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist finished with 17 points. It was Charlotte’s second road win of the season in 12 tries. Russell Westbrook had 30 points and seven assists and Paul George scored 20 points for the Thunder after missing the previous two games with a right calf contusion. Charlotte shot 53 percent from the field against one of the league’s best defensive teams. The Bobcats made 13 of 25 3-point attempts. The game was tied at 66 in the third quarter when Charlotte went on a run and never relinquished momentum. A 3-pointer by Williams made it 74-66, leading to a Thunder timeout. Charlotte kept right on rolling. A 3-pointer by Frank Kaminsky put the Hornets up 86-68, and a layup by Kidd-Gilchrist made it a 20-point game. The Hornets made 7 of 10 3-pointers in the quarter to go up 92-74 at the end of the period. Oklahoma City cut the deficit to 11 on a dunk by Westbrook, but the Hornets quickly regained control for good.
Heat 107, Grizzlies 82
Goran Dragic scored 19 points, and Miami pulled away from lowly Memphis for a victory. Miami shot 56.1 percent from the field and had seven players score in double figures in its second straight win. Josh Richardson had 17 points, and reserves Tyler Johnson and Bam Adebayo finished with 14 apiece. Memphis lost for the 15th time in 16 games. Marc Gasol scored 19 points on 5-for-14 shooting and Andrew Harrison had 16. The Heat carried a 70-60 lead into the fourth quarter and kept up the pressure in the final period. Johnson scored five straight points to run the advantage out to 18, and the lead ballooned to 27 in the closing minutes. Miami shot 65 percent in the second half. The first half was a sloppy affair with 11 turnovers for the Grizzlies and 10 for the Heat. Miami led 45-42 at the break.