AROUND THE NBA | Monday’s games
Rockets 109, Spurs 93
James Harden scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter to allow the Houston Rockets to build a huge lead and sail to an easy victory over the San Antonio Spurs. Harden took over, scoring the next eight points to start a 16-4 run that extended the lead to 82-57 with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the third and had coach Gregg Popovich calling for a timeout. He didn’t return in the fourth quarter with the game in hand. The Spurs, who were without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, got 14 points each from Forbes and Derrick White. They lost for the fifth time in six games as they fight for a playoff spot. Chris Paul finished with 18 points and nine assists.
Thunder 106, Kings 101
Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and notched his 20th triple-double of the season to help the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Sacramento Kings. Westbrook had 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the 99th triple-double of his career.
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony each scored 21 points for the Thunder, who moved into fourth place in the Western Conference standings. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Garrett Temple and Justin Jackson each added 15 for the Kings. Oklahoma City led 46-40 at halftime. He got his 10th assist on a pass to Jerami Grant for a layup and his 10th rebound with just over 3 minutes to play. Westbrook’s lob to Grant for a dunk put the Thunder up 102-92 with just under 3 minutes to play. Sacramento cut its deficit to 104-101 on a pair of free throws by Bogdanovic with 23 seconds left, but a pair of free throws put the game out of reach.
Bucks 121, Grizzlies 103
Khris Middleton scored 24 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20 and the Milwaukee Bucks sent the Memphis Grizzlies to their 18th consecutive loss with a victory. Brandon Jennings, signed to a 10-day contract by Milwaukee on Saturday, finished two rebounds short of a triple-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Eric Bledsoe added 14 points, including a trio of baskets to stem a fourth-quarter Memphis rally. Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 17 points, while Jarell Martin, Dillon Brooks and Ben McLemore scored 16 apiece.