Rockets rally to down Lakers

AFP
January 21,2019

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LOS ANGELES: James Harden scored 48 points as the Houston Rockets rallied from a 21-point deficit to down the Los Angeles Lakers 138-134 in overtime on a drama-filled NBA Saturday.

Paul George was the hero for Oklahoma City, his 31 points including a decisive four-point play in the dying seconds that sparked the Thunder to a 117-115 victory over Philadelphia.

And Sacramento guard Buddy Hield’s running three-pointer beat the buzzer to give the Kings a 103-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Harden’s latest gem followed his 58- and 57-point performances in his last two games.

But the Rockets never led until Eric Gordon’s three-pointer seconds into overtime put them up 123-120.

Gordon, who finished with 30 points, had forced overtime with a three-pointer that knotted the score at 120-120 with two seconds left in regulation.

The depleted Lakers, still missing injured superstar LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, dominated the first half and took a 64-46 lead into the break.

But the Lakers lost Lonzo Ball to a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and their lead was down to four points heading into the final period. Lakers coach Luke Walton — who was ejected after yelling at officials shortly after teammates carried Ball off the court — said the team would know more about Ball’s injury after an MRI exam.

It wasn’t enough against the Rockets and Harden, who notched his 19th straight game with 30 or more points. He has scored 40 in 10 of his last 13.

Oklahoma City’s win was their 19th straight against the 76ers — the longest active NBA streak of one team defeating another.

Excitement built as Philadelphia’s Jimmy Butler intercepted a pass aimed at Thunder big man Steven Adams of New Zealand and drove in for a layup with 6.9 seconds remaining to give the 76ers a 115-113 advantage. But after a timeout George took an inbounds pass and fired a three-pointer while being fouled by Butler.


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