Clippers rip Rockets 117-109

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Los Angeles Clippers’ Jamal Crawford, right, keeps the ball from Houston Rockets’ Jeremy Lin, left, during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday in Houston. The Clippers beat the Rockets 117-109. AP

HOUSTON — Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 30 points, including 12 straight to start the fourth quarter, and the Los Angeles Clippers looked just fine without Chris Paul in a 117-109 win over the struggling Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.

The Clippers won their second game in a row despite missing their star point guard, who is day to day with a bruised right kneecap.

Los Angeles used a big third quarter to take the lead, and Crawford extended the advantage to 20 by outscoring Houston 12-7 in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter.

James Harden had 23 points for the Rockets, whose four-game losing streak is a season worst.

The Clippers improved to 11-1 this season when Crawford leads the team in scoring.

Los Angeles opened the second half with a 10-0 run to take a 68-59 lead with about nine minutes left in the third quarter.

NUGGETS 115, TRAIL BLAZERS 111, OT

Wilson Chandler hit a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 14.9 seconds remaining in overtime and Denver beat Portland for its season-best sixth consecutive victory.

Danilo Gallinari had 25 points, including a key 3-pointer in the extra period. Ty Lawson added 24 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who are 2-0 in overtime this season.

Portland, which lost for the first time in six OT games this season, was led by LaMarcus Aldridge’s 28 points. Nicolas Batum had 22 points and J.J. Hickson 19.

LAKERS 104, BUCKS 88

Dwight Howard had 31 points and 16 rebounds, Kobe Bryant also scored 31 points and Los Angeles beat Milwaukee for its second straight win after a six-game skid.

Metta World Peace added 12 points as the Lakers prepared for Thursday’s visit from the NBA champion Miami Heat with an impressive effort against the Bucks, who lost for the second time in five games under interim coach Jim Boylan.

Bryant and Howard both had 30-point games for the second time in their brief tenure together, and the Bucks couldn’t cope with Bryant’s outside game or Howard’s inside dominance.

Monta Ellis scored 17 points for Milwaukee, while Brandon Jennings was held to 12 points on 4-of-14 shooting largely by Bryant’s defense.

Howard again played with an obvious spark in his second game back from a three-game absence with a torn labrum in his shoulder, defending aggressively in the paint while overpowering the Bucks on offense.

Pau Gasol missed his fifth straight game for the Lakers with a concussion, but the 7-foot Spaniard worked out before the game and will be re-examined before Thursday’s game against Miami.

PACERS 103, BOBCATS 76

Roy Hibbert had 18 points and seven rebounds, and Indiana handed Charlotte its 13th straight home loss.

The Pacers bounced back from Sunday’s 11-point defeat to Brooklyn and won for the fifth time in six games.

With team owner Michael Jordan looking on from the bench, the Bobcats lost their fifth in a row. They’ve dropped 24 of 26 since Thanksgiving.

Indiana won this one going away behind some dominant inside play, outrebounding the Bobcats 60-31 and outscoring them 52-22 in the paint.

Paul George had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while David West added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers. George Hill chipped in with 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Central Division leaders (24-15) have not lost consecutive games since Dec. 9.

Gerald Henderson led the Bobcats with 15 points.

NETS 113, RAPTORS 106

Brook Lopez had 22 points and nine rebounds, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each scored 21 points, and Brooklyn beat Toronto to extend its season-high winning streak to seven games.

Andray Blatche added 14 points for the Nets, in the midst of their longest winning streak since running off 14 in a row late in the 2005-06 season. A .500 team when they fired Avery Johnson late last month, Brooklyn is 9-1 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo and has pulled within 1½ games of the New York Knicks for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Nets dominated the fourth quarter again, pulling away for their sixth straight home victory.

Kyle Lowry scored 21 points for the Raptors, who have dropped two in a row but still have 10 wins in their last 15 games.

HORNETS 111, 76ERS 99

Greivis Vasquez scored 23 points and Eric Gordon added 19 to help New Orleans beat Philadelphia.

Ryan Anderson had 14 points, Xavier Henry scored 11 and Anthony Davis 10 for the Hornets, who are last in the Western Conference at 12-26 — with matching 6-13 records at home and on the road.

Jrue Holiday led the Sixers with 29 points and 11 assists. Nick Young and Evan Turner added 14 points each while Thaddeus Young scored 12.

Philadelphia hasn’t won consecutive games since a three-game streak from Nov. 25-30.

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