Rockets top Warriors without Harden, 76ers and Celtics lose

The Houston Rockets upstaged reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors 118-112 despite the absence of James Harden.

Harden – the NBA's leading scorer – sat out with a neck injury. But Chris Paul and his supporting cast were more than enough away from home on Saturday.

Paul recorded 23 points and 17 assists for the Rockets, while Eric Gordon and Kenneth Faried chipped in 25 and 20 points respectively.

Faried, P.J. Tucker and Clint Capela all reached double-digits in rebounding and helped the Rockets narrowly win the battle on the glass.

Kevin Durant's 29 points on 11-of-19 shooting paced the Warriors. Stephen Curry was right behind him with 25 on five made three-pointers.

The Rockets and Warriors have now both lost two of their last three games. But Houston are looking to climb a few spots from the fifth seed in the Western Conference.


Nurkic leads Trail Blazers past 76ers

Portland Trail Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic had 24 points and 10 rebounds in a 130-115 victory at the Joel Embiid-less Philadelphia 76ers.

Zach LaVine posted 42 points as the Chicago Bulls shocked the Boston Celtics 126-116. Lauri Markkanen recorded 35 points and 15 rebounds.

D'Angelo Russell's 40-point performance lifted the Brooklyn Nets past the Charlotte Hornets 117-115.

Russell Westbrook managed 41 points and 10 assists against the Sacramento Kings, but the Oklahoma City Thunder still lost 119-116.


Saric struggles

Dario Saric scored seven points on two-of-11 shooting in the Minnesota Timberwolves' 140-128 loss to the high-flying Milwaukee Bucks.

Jordan Clarkson scored five points on two-of-10 shooting as the Cleveland Cavaliers took down the Memphis Grizzlies 112-107.


Holiday dazzles with Davis absent

Jrue Holiday's rainbow buzzer-beater in the third quarter helped the New Orleans Pelicans extend their lead and claim a 128-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers, despite the absence of Anthony Davis.

Bradley Beal shook Wesley Matthews on the right wing and sank this three-pointer while getting fouled, but the Washington Wizards lost to the Indiana Pacers 119-112.


Saturday's results

Portland Trail Blazers 130-115 Philadelphia 76ers
Atlanta Hawks 120-112 Phoenix Suns
Brooklyn Nets 117-115 Charlotte Hornets
Cleveland Cavaliers 112-107 Memphis Grizzlies
Indiana Pacers 119-112 Washington Wizards
New Orleans Pelicans 128-115 Los Angeles Lakers
Detroit Pistons 119-96 Miami Heat
Chicago Bulls 126-116 Boston Celtics
Sacramento Kings 119-116 Oklahoma City Thunder
Milwaukee Bucks 140-128 Minnesota Timberwolves
Houston Rockets 118-112 Golden State Warriors
Utah Jazz 125-109 Dallas Mavericks


Clippers at Nuggets

Despite recently freeing up two max slots, the Los Angeles Clippers have made it known they still have playoff aspirations this season. The Denver Nuggets are second in the Western Conference, just behind Golden State. The Nuggets should prove to be a good test for the eighth-placed Clippers.

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