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Fifteenth straight win for Houston

Houston, Sunday @peoplesport11

James Harden scored 26 points and Eric Gordon scored 29 off the bench as the Houston Rockets stretched their winning streak to a season-high 15 games with a 123-120 win over the Boston Celtics. Houston’s winning streak ties the second-longest in franchise history which was achieved two times during the Hakeem Olajuwon-era in the 1990s. “We’re on a wave right now.

We’ve got 20 games left we’ve got to take it one at a time and try to have fun with it,” said Harden after Saturday’s victory. The Rockets best run of success all-time was a 22-game win streak during the 2007-08 NBA season.

It’s their second long winning streak of this season after Houston won 14 in a row beginning in November and stretching into December. Marcus Morris had 21 points off the bench for the visiting Celtics, who had won four consecutive games since the all-star break. Houston’s Gordon made one of two free throws to make it 123-120 with 2.3 seconds remaining.

Boston tried to answer but Marcus Smart’s three-point heave bounced off the rim at the buzzer to give Houston the victory. “He almost made a lucky shot,” Harden said of Smart’s desperate attempt. “That’s a very good team over there. We just wanted to compete at a high level.

“Early on in the game they were hot, they made so many threes. We just had to compete, keep fighting for four quarters and we got a win.” Harden said the their attention to defence was the difference maker. “In the first half they were getting a lot of easy looks, they made us scramble defensively.

The second half we picked it up a little more,” he said. Elsewhere, Gary Harris scored 32 points, Will Barton added 23 and the Denver Nuggets did most of their damage behind the three-point line in a 126-117 win over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry left Friday’s game against the Atlanta Hawks and did not return due to an ankle injury. The Warriors, who held a 62-50 half-time lead, announced early in the second half two-time NBA MVP Curry would sit out the remainder of the contest after he was injured in the first quarter. Curry hurt himself defending a drive to the basket when he jumped and came down on Warriors team-mate Zaza Pachulia’s foot.

He went to the locker room after the play, but returned to action and scored 25 points in the first half. Fortunately for Curry, he should have ample time to recover. The Warriors do not play again until Tuesday and are not scheduled to practice on Saturday or Sunday. – AFP

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