NBA scoring juggernaut James Harden poured in a season-high 57 points yesterday to power the short-handed Houston Rockets to a 112-94 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Harden's latest monster game highlighted a night of NBA action that saw Hornets point guard Tony Parker receive a hero's welcome in San Antonio -- the city where he starred for 17 seasons.
Parker had a modest eight points, four assists and three rebounds in 19 minutes on the court in the Hornets' 108-93 win -- all with Spurs fans cheering him on. "Man, a lot of love," said Parker, who won four NBA titles with San Antonio.
"I've been with those fans for a long time and I really appreciate (this). "It's hard to describe the feeling I have right now."
Harden departed the court in Houston to a rousing ovation as well, and it owed nothing to nostalgia.
With the Rockets reeling from the news that center Clint Capela will likely miss at least four weeks with a thumb injury -- joining an injury list that already included Chris Paul and Eric Gordon -- Harden happily shouldered the burden.
He extended his streak of consecutive 30-point games to a remarkable 17 -- and he did it by halftime with 36 points before the break. It's the longest such streak since Wilt Chamberlain had 20 straight games of 30 or more points in 1964, surpassing Lakers great Kobe Bryant's 16-game 30-point streak in the 2002-03 season.
In New York, D'Angelo Russell scored 18 of his 34 points in the third quarter as the Brooklyn Nets used a second-half surge to beat the Boston Celtics, 109-102.
The Nets out-scored the Celtics 44-21 in the third period and pushed their lead to as many as 27 points in the fourth. Boston whittled the gap to seven points with 1:28 remaining, but the Nets held on to end a 10-game skid against the Celtics.
Center Jarrett Allen scored 19 points with 12 rebounds and forward Rodions Kurucs added another 19 points for the Nets, who improved to 22-23 -- good enough for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
Sacramento guard Buddy Hield scored 19 points to lead six Kings players in double-figures in a 117-105 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. In Los Angeles, New Orleans forward Anthony Davis scored 46 points and pulled down 16 rebounds to pace the Pelicans in a 121-117 victory over the Clippers.*AFP
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