Eric Gordon scored 29 points off the bench, James Harden had 26 points and 10 assists, and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Boston Celtics 123-120 on Saturday night to extend their winning streak to a season-high 15 games.
Houston trailed by six before using a 10-2 run, with the last five points coming from Trevor Ariza, to take a 117-115 lead with 1:16 remaining. Ariza made a 3-pointer before stealing the ball from Kyrie Irving and finishing with a basket on the other end to cap the run.
Al Horford missed shots on Boston's next two possessions before Chris Paul made two free throws with 15 seconds left to push the lead to four. Irving made a layup seconds later, but Harden made one of two free throws with 7.4 seconds left to make it 120-117.
Irving and Paul hit two free throws each before Irving made one and purposely missed the second with 2.8 seconds left. Gordon made one of two free throws to make it 123-120 with 2.3 seconds remaining, and Marcus Smart's 3-point attempt bounced off the rim at the buzzer to give Houston the win.
Houston's winning streak ties the second-longest in franchise history, accomplished twice during Hakeem Olajuwon's tenure in the 1990s, and trails only a 22-game run the Rockets had in the 2007-08 season. It's their second long winning streak of the season after the NBA-leading Rockets won 14 in a row from Nov. 16 to Dec. 18.
Marcus Morris had 21 points off the bench for the Celtics, who had won four in a row since the All-Star break.
Paul, who sat out with an injury in the previous game against the Celtics, added 15 points and Ariza had 21.
Boston took the first meeting this season by rallying from a 26-point deficit for a 99-98 win on Dec. 28.
at Trail Blazers 108, Thunder 100: CJ McCollum scored 28 points, Damian Lillard had 20 and the Portland Trail Blazers won their sixth straight game Saturday night with a 108-100 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Rookie forward Zach Collins added 12 points for the Blazers, part of a close cluster in the Western Conference standings that includes the Thunder, Spurs and Timberwolves.
Russell Westbrook had 30 points and 11 rebounds for Oklahoma City, but the loss snapped a three-game winning streak. Paul George added 21 points.
The Blazers led by 10 early in the fourth quarter but Westbrook converted a three-point play after Pat Connaughton was called for goaltending, pulling the Thunder to 95-90. Westbrook's jumper got Oklahoma City even closer with 3:58 to go.
Collins' 3-pointer put Portland up 102-93 with 2:23 left, but Westbrook answered with his own 3 and Jerami Grant added a layup to trim the Thunder's deficit to 102-98. After Lillard made free throws, Westbrook airballed a 3-pointer and Portland closed it out at the foul line.
The Thunder rested Carmelo Anthony, who is averaging 16.9 points per game, after defeating the Suns 124-116 on Friday night in Phoenix. Patrick Patterson started in his place.
Corey Brewer played for the Thunder even though he had not yet practiced with the team. The 6-foot-9 guard was formally signed by Oklahoma City on Friday.
Brewer, an 11-year NBA veteran, averaged 3.7 points in 54 games this season with the Lakers, who agreed to a buyout with him on Wednesday.
Nuggets 126, at Cavaliers 117: Gary Harris scored 32 points, Will Barton added 23 and the Denver Nuggets did most of their damage behind the 3-point arc in a 126-117 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
The Nuggets made 19 of 35 3-pointers, including three in the final 2:26, to hold off a second-half charge from the Cavs, who are struggling as they try to blend in four new players on the fly.
James finished with 25 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds — his 13th triple-double this season — but Cleveland's lack of a dependable No. 2 scorer with Kevin Love out with a broken left hand continues to be a major problem.
J.R. Smith scored 19 points — all in the second half — in his return from a one-game suspension for throwing a bowl of soup on Cavs assistant coach Damon Jones. With Smith and James carrying the scoring load, the Cavs pulled within 115-114 with 2:40 left.
at Heat 105, Pistons 96: Kelly Olynyk and Josh Richardson each scored 17 points, and Miami enhanced its playoff hopes with a win over Detroit.
James Johnson scored 14 points, Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow each had 13 and Dwyane Wade added 11 for Miami. Hassan Whiteside grabbed 19 rebounds for the Heat, who won for only the fourth time in their last 13 games.
Blake Griffin scored 31 points and Andre Drummond finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds for the Pistons, who were playing their fifth game in seven nights — four of those on the road.
Reggie Bullock scored 11 points for the Pistons, who have lost eight of their last 10 overall — and 13 of their last 14 on the road.
at Magic 107, Grizzlies 100: Evan Fournier broke a tie on a long 3-pointer with 22.5 seconds left, and Orlando rookie Jonathan Isaac helped preserve the lead with his third block of the game in a win that stretched Memphis' losing streak to 13 games.
Fournier added two free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining to finish with 19 points. Nikola Vucevic also scored 19 for Orlando, which had six players in double figures.
Ben McLemore scored a game-high 20 for Memphis, which has the NBA's longest skid of the season. Jarell Martin added 19 points and 11 rebounds.
Memphis led 84-77 early in the fourth quarter, the biggest lead for either team until Orlando (20-43) matched it in the final seconds.
Jazz 98, at Kings 91: Donovan Mitchell scored eight of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Utah Jazz beat the Sacramento Kings 98-91 on Saturday night.
Rudy Gobert had another double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Jazz. Ricky Rubio added 10 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Derrick Favors scored 15 to lead Utah to its fifth consecutive win in Sacramento.
The Jazz, who beat Minnesota on Friday, have back-to-back victories for the first time since their 11-game winning streak was snapped by Portland on Feb. 23.
Sacramento trailed by 18 in the third quarter but pulled to 95-89 following De'Aaron Fox's three-point play with 49.9 seconds left.
Rubio made one free throw and Mitchell sank two to help Utah hold on.
Skal Labissiere had 12 points and 12 rebounds for Sacramento. Fox scored 17 points and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 15.