NBA: Rockets cruise past Jazz, Kings keep winning

By AFP: Sunday, February 23rd 2020 at 23:46 GMT +3 | Basketball
Feb 20, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) handles the ball while being defended by Golden State Warriors guard Jordan Poole (3) during the second quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

James Harden and Russell Westbrook combined for 72 points as the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz on the road for the second time in four weeks, winning 120-110 on Saturday night. 

Harden scored a team high 38 points and added five rebounds and seven assists while Westbrook scored 34. It was Harden’s sixth three-pointer with 2:13 remaining that silenced the Jazz for good. 

Utah had cut a 16-point deficit to 115-108 before Harden nailed a long three pointer that lifted Houston to its seventh win in the last nine contest. 

Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore scored 12 points apiece off the bench for the Rockets, who finished 20 of 48 from behind the arc at Vivint Smart Home Arena. 

It was the Rockets’ three-point prowess that set the late tone with McLemore, Austin Rivers and Gordon all connecting from long range to spark a 17-5 run after Utah closed to within 83-80 on a three-point play from Mike Conley. 

Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 31 points while Jordan Clarkson added 22 off the bench. 

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Utah scored 64 points in the paint, but that wasn’t enough to counter the Rockets’ explosive shooting.

Elsewhere, reserve Kent Bazemore scored 23 points as the Sacramento Kings are off to a roaring start to the second half of the season with a 112-103 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic each scored 20 points for Sacramento, who were coming off Thursday’s 129-125 win over Memphis in their first game back after the All-Star break.

Harry Giles had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes added 13 points for Sacramento.

Nemanja Bjelica tallied 10 points and seven rebounds in front of the crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center arena. 

Fox had a team-high eight assists for the Kings, who have won five of their last seven. 

The Kings blew out the Clippers 124-103 in their most recent meeting in Los Angeles last month.

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