NBA: Streaking Rockets close in on Warriors


James Harden had 34 points, 12 assists and six rebounds, and the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 126-108 on Tuesday night for their ninth straight victory.

Ryan Anderson scored 21 points off the bench as the Rockets (43-13) snapped Minnesota’s 13-game home winning streak and pulled within a half-game of the Golden State Warriors for the best record in the NBA. Houston has won 16 of its past 18 games. Minnesota is now 16-2 at home against Western Conference opponents.

The Rockets made 10 three-pointers in the fourth quarter, when they scored 42 points.

Karl-Anthony Towns had 35 points and 12 rebounds for his league-leading 50th double-double. Jeff Teague added 25 points and eight assists.


Timberwolves forward Andrew Wiggins missed his first 12 field goal attempts. Wiggins entered Tuesday’s game shooting 55.6 percent in his previous four games. He finished two for 14.

Cleveland 120, at Oklahoma City 112: LeBron James scored 37 points and the Cavaliers improved to 2-0 since shaking up their roster and got payback for a 24-point loss on Jan. 20. Paul George scored 25 points and Carmelo Anthony 24 for the Thunder. Steven Adams added 22 points and 17 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook had 21 points.

at Toronto 115, Miami 112: DeMar DeRozan scored 27 points, Kyle Lowry had 22 and the Raptors won their sixth straight. Goran Dragic had 28 points for the Heat, who lost for the sixth time in seven games.

at Denver 117, San Antonio 109: Nikola Jokic had 23 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists for his fourth triple-double this season as the Nuggets won for the fifth time in six games.

at Milwaukee 97, Atlanta 92: Khris Middleton had 21 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo hit two key baskets as the Bucks improved to 9-2 with interim coach Joe Prunty.

Sacramento 114, at Dallas 109: Zach Randolph had 22 points and the Kings won for the fourth time in five games at Dallas after losing 22 in a row there from 2003 to 2016.