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Houston Rockets’ James Harden (13) talks to fans as Brooklyn Nets’ Deron Williams (8) looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Feb. 22, 2013, in New York. The Rockets won the game 106-96. AP

NEW YORK— James Harden and Carlos Delfino each scored 22 points, and the Houston Rockets tied their longest winning streak against any opponent by beating the Brooklyn Nets for the 13th straight time, 106-96 on Friday night.

Houston blew most of a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter before Delfino hit a big 3-pointer with 1:54 left. He later made another jumper before Harden followed with a 3 to put it away.

Delfino made six 3-pointers. Harden, coming off a career-high 46-point game Wednesday against Oklahoma City, made four 3s and finished 7 of 14 from the field.

Brook Lopez scored 27 points for the Nets, who played without starting guard Joe Johnson for the first time this season because of plantar fasciitis in his left foot. Deron Williams added 15 points and 13 assists, but shot 5 of 17 as Brooklyn had its four-game winning streak snapped.

The Rockets haven’t lost to the Nets since March 13, 2006, in Houston. The Rockets also won 13 straight against the Sonics-Thunder franchise (2007-09) and Minnesota (2007-11).

Brooklyn missed a chance to tie New York for first place in the Atlantic Division.

BULLS 105, BOBCATS 75

CHARLOTTE, N.C.— Taj Gibson scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting and Chicago routed Michael Jordan’s Charlotte Bobcats.

With Jordan looking on from the end of the Charlotte bench, the Bulls jumped out to a 38-19 lead midway through the second quarter and never looked back. Jordan, the Bobcats’ owner and former Bulls star, left his seat with about 3 minutes left in the first half and didn’t return.

The Bulls had failed to score 100 points in their previous six games and were held to 67 by Miami on Thursday night, but found their groove against the NBA-worst Bobcats.

Carlos Boozer had 10 points and 10 rebounds as eight Bulls finished in double figures.

Luol Deng added 14 points, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and Richard Hamilton all had 12, and Joakim Noah finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and eight assists.

Kemba Walker had 27 points to lead Charlotte, which shot 33 percent from the field. It was the 10th time this season the Bobcats lost by 20 or more points.

RAPTORS 100, KNICKS 98

TORONTO— Rudy Gay scored a season-high 32 points, DeMar DeRozan had 18 and Toronto handed New York its season-worst fourth straight loss.

Kyle Lowry scored 15 points, Amir Johnson 12 and John Lucas 10 as the Raptors won for the sixth time in seven games.

Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and J.R. Smith added 19 for the Knicks, winless since beating Minnesota on Feb. 8.

Amare Stoudemire scored 14 points and Raymond Felton added 10 for New York, which rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead with 6:11 left.

Lowry hit a driving hook shot to put Toronto up 97-95 with 28 seconds remaining, and Gay added three free throws to clinch it.

THUNDER 127, TIMBERWOLVES 111

OKLAHOMA CITY— Russell Westbrook scored 37 points, Kevin Durant added 27 and Oklahoma City snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Minnesota.

The Thunder avoided losing four in a row for the first time since April 2009, near the end of their first season in Oklahoma City, but made little progress in getting their defense back in order.

They had allowed 113.7 points per game during the losing streak and were just a basket better against Minnesota, instead relying on an offense that regained the NBA lead in scoring average.

Alexey Shved led Minnesota with 17 points, and Andrei Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham had 15 points apiece. The Timberwolves shot 53 percent in the first half but couldn’t keep up that pace and wound up hitting on 43 percent after halftime.

Oklahoma City hit all 22 of its free throws.

PACERS 114, PISTONS 82

INDIANAPOLIS— David West scored 18 points, George Hill had 15 and the surging Indiana Pacers beat Detroit.

Indiana has won three straight and eight of 10, including a 98-79 victory against Detroit on Jan. 30.

This one was a runaway.

The Pacers grabbed control with a 14-4 run at the start of the second quarter. Orlando Johnson had 11 points in the run, making back-to-back 3-pointers to help Indiana to a 48-23 lead.

Will Bynum scored 17 points for the stumbling Pistons, who have split their last four games.

WIZARDS 119, NUGGETS 113

WASHINGTON— Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 13 rebounds, and Washington put on one of its best offensive shows of the season against Denver.

The Wizards put seven players in double figures while taking down another contending team. They never trailed but had an 18-point fourth-quarter lead cut to two in the final minute. Bradley Beal had 17 points and a career-high 12 boards, Trevor Ariza scored 16 points and Martell Webster had 15.

Ty Lawson had 27 points and 12 assists, Wilson Chandler added 22 points and Andre Miller scored a season-high 19 for the Nuggets, who have lost four straight on the road. They also have the dubious distinction of getting swept by the Wizards this season, having lost at home to Washington on Jan. 18.

HAWKS 122, KINGS 108

ATLANTA— Al Horford led Atlanta’s balanced scoring with 24 points and the Hawks overcame a slow start to beat Sacramento.

Jeff Teague had 20 points and 12 assists, Josh Smith added 18 points and DeShawn Stevenson had 17 for Atlanta, which had six players in double figures.

Isaiah Thomas scored 30 points to lead the Kings, who have lost four straight and eight of 10. DeMarcus Cousins had 26 points and 13 rebounds.

Tyreke Evans chipped in 15 points but no other Sacramento player scored in double figures. The Kings, who led by 13 in the opening period, have lost seven straight on the road and are 5-24 away from Sacramento.

GRIZZLIES 88, MAGIC 82

MEMPHIS, Tenn.— Marc Gasol had 19 points and 13 rebounds, Zach Randolph added 16 points and 14 boards, and Memphis beat short-handed Orlando for its sixth straight victory.

Mike Conley finished with 14 points and seven assists for the Grizzlies.

Aaron Afflalo had 20 points, six rebounds and seven assists for Orlando. Mo Harkless scored 19, and Andrew Nicholson added 14 points. E’Twaun Moore scored 12 points and handed out seven assists as the Magic dropped their fourth straight and 16th in their last 17.

The Magic had only seven players available because of injuries and trades from Thursday.

MAVERICKS 104, HORNETS 100

NEW ORLEANS— Vince Carter capped a 22-point performance with a 3-pointer that gave Dallas the lead with 6.5 seconds left, and the Mavericks held on to beat New Orleans for their third straight victory.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points for the Mavericks, while Elton Brand added 13 and Darren Collison 11, including a pair of key free throws in the final seconds.

Eric Gordon scored 23 for the Hornets, who have lost three straight. Anthony Davis added 10 points and 11 rebounds, but left in the third quarter with a sprained right knee.

Jason Smith added a season-high 22 points for New Orleans and Ryan Anderson had 20, including a 3 that gave the Hornets a 100-96 lead with 55.5 seconds left. Mike James then hit a clutch 3 from the corner to get Dallas within one.


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Tags: Basketball , Brooklyn Nets , Carmelo Anthony , Charlotte Bobcats , Chicago Bulls , Houston Rockets , James Harden , Kevin Durant , Minnesota Timberwolves , NBA , New York Knicks , Oklahoma City Thunder , Rudy Gay , Russell Westbrook , Toronto Raptors



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