With the way Mike D’Antoni has handled Houston’s rotation lately, there are times Chris Paul is left to run the Rockets’ offense against second-team defenses.
That combination proved the difference on Wednesday night when Paul led the host Rockets to a huge run in the first half that helped them extend their winning streak to 11 games with a 108-96 victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Paul scored a season-high 31 points and James Harden added 21 to help Houston to its 17th win in 18 games and improve to 22-4.
“We got stops and Chris got hot,” Harden said of Paul. “He was extremely aggressive. We just kind of rode that wave throughout the entire game.”
Oklahoma City 100, at Indiana 95: Former Pacer Paul George made a winning return to Indiana, hitting the clinching free throws with 10.7 seconds left for the Thunder. Steven Adams added 23 points and 13 rebounds and Russell Westbrook finished with 10 points, 17 rebounds and 12 assists in his ninth triple-double this season.
at Boston 124, Denver 118: The Celtics had their best shooting game of the season (60%) and held on for a win. Kyrie Irving led the way with 33 points.
Portland 102, at Miami 95: Damian Lillard scored seven of his 18 points in the final 3:16, and the Trail Blazers overcame a 16-point second-half deficit to end their losing streak at five games.
at Chicago 103, Utah 100: Nikola Mirotic scored 29 points and Kris Dunn hit a clutch jumper with 22 seconds left for the Bulls, who won their fourth straight.
at New Orleans 115, Milwaukee 108: The Pelicans turned the ball over 21 times, with nine committed by DeMarcus Cousins, but they still pulled out a victory. Cousins had 26 points, including a clutch three-pointer that put the game out of reach.
Toronto 115, at Phoenix 109: DeMar DeRozan matched his season high with 37 points as the Raptors got their seventh victory in eight games. DeRozan scored 18 points in the third quarter and Toronto led by as many as 15 before the Suns rallied in the fourth.
at Washington 93, Memphis 87: Bradley Beal scored 18 points and John Wall had 13 in his return from a sore knee to help the Wizards hold off the Grizzlies. Beal scored 11 points in the fourth quarter, hitting three three-pointers. Otto Porter Jr. added 14 points.