NBA: Harden's double-double powers Rockets over Magic

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Feb 08 2017 01:15 PM

Houston Rockets guard James Harden brings the ball up the court against the Orlando Magic at Toyota Center. Erik Williams, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

WASHINGTON -- James Harden scored 25 points and passed off 12 assists to spark the Houston Rockets over visiting Orlando, 128-104, in one of only three NBA games played Tuesday.

Harden, who ranks third in NBA scoring with 28.9 points a game and first in assists with 11.4 per contest, achieved his 43rd double double of the season as the Rockets cracked 100 points for the 41st consecutive game, third-longest run in NBA history.

Houston's Trevor Ariza scored 20 points, 14 of them in the first quarter, and Eric Gordon finished with 18 off the bench while Patrick Beverley added 17 points, six rebounds and seven assists as six Rockets scored in double figures.

Forward Serge Ibaka scored a game-high 28 points and guard Evan Fournier added 21 for the Magic while Orlando center Nikola Vucevic had 14 points and 19 rebounds.

The Rockets improved to 38-17, third in the Western Conference and fourth overall in the NBA, while Orlando fell to 20-34, 13th in the Eastern Conference and five games out of the last playoff berth.

In other games, Portland's C.J. McCollum scored the last of his game-high 32 points on a last-second jumper to give the Trail Blazers a 114-113 victory at Dallas.

McCollum scored Portland's last seven points to secure the victory.

Dallas star Dirk Nowitzki sank a 3-pointer to put the Mavericks ahead, 108-107, but McCollum answered with a jumper to put Portland back in front.

Devin Harris answered with a basket but a three-point play by McCollum with 12 seconds remaining put the Trail Blazers ahead, 112-110.

Nowitzki followed with another 3-pointer to lift Dallas in front only to have McCollum swipe the victory with his last-second heroics.

Portland's Damian Lillard added 29 points while Harrison Barnes led Dallas with 26, Nowitzki added 25 and Wesley Matthews contributed 23.

In North Carolina, US guard Kemba Walker, Italian swingman Marco Belinelli and French forward Nicolas Batum scored 17 points each as the Charlotte Hornets snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 111-107 victory over the visiting Brooklyn Nets.

The Hornets took advantage of the NBA's worst team, delivering the Nets a 10th consecutive loss. 

Charlotte, which lost 12 of the past 15 games, seized a 17-point halftime lead and never trailed from there, but shut down a Brooklyn rally that got he Nets within two points in the final minute before four Belinelli free throws in the last 15 seconds sealed the victory.

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