James Harden scored 22 points and added 11 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 109-92 blowout victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday night. Teammate Dwight Howard added 15 points and 16 rebounds while helping limit Tim Duncan to just six points on 2-of-12 shooting at the other end of the floor.
Houston led by two points at halftime before Harden and Howard took over in the third quarter. Their earlier two-point lead ballooned to 21 toward the tail end of the quarter before settling at 14 heading into the final frame. The Spurs never came within 10 points the rest of the way.
Houston took a whopping 38 three-pointers on the night, making 13 of them. The Rockets racked up 27 assists while dominating the boards, grabbing 51 to just 41 for San Antonio.
Detroit Pistons 99, Minnesota Timberwolves 98: Josh Smith struggled with his shooting all night, but his three-pointer at the buzzer propelled the Pistons past the Timberwolves. Smith scored 20 points while shooting 6-of-17 from the field and 3-of-9 from deep. He also shot a worrisome 5-of-11 from the free-throw line.
Minnesota was poised to grab a win after J.J. Barea scored with 3.6 seconds left, but then Smith came through with his clutch shot out of a timeout.
It certainly looks like he got a lucky roll:
Greg Monroe and Will Bynum both scored 17 points in the victory for Detroit, while Andre Drummond added 11 points and 20 rebounds. Kevin Love led the Wolves with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Martin scored 18 points and Barea added 16 off the bench.
Portland Trail Blazers 90, Golden State Warriors 74: Damian Lillard scored 21 points to lead the Blazers over the Warriors in a rather ugly affair. LaMarcus Aldridge and Nicolas Batum both contributed double-doubles, but combined to shoot just 8-of-25 from the field.
Both teams shot poorly as the Blazers hit just 36.1 percent overall and the Warriors were at a dismal 33 percent. Golden State was especially brutal from three-point range, going just 2-for-15.
Golden State actually led by seven points at halftime, but their offense went completely into the tank in the second half. The Warriors managed just 26 points in the second half, getting outscored by 23 points in the process.
Charlotte Bobcats 105, Cleveland Cavaliers 92: Jeff Taylor was one of six Bobcats to score in double figures, notching 20 points in a comfortable win over Cleveland. Gerald Henderson poured in 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting.
Bobcats rookie Cody Zeller had 13 points and eight rebounds, with six of those boards coming on the offensive end. Josh McRoberts added 10 points and one ferocious dunk in the absence of Al Jefferson.
The game was competitive throughout before the Bobcats pulled away in the final minutes. by closing the game on an 11-2 run.
Kyrie Irving was excellent as usual, scoring 20 points for Cleveland. Earl Clark chipped in 12 points.