ROCKETS OUTLAST THUNDER IN OKC
oklahoma city» James Harden scored 21 points, and the Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook’s seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.
Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds. Houston won despite Harden’s 6-for-23 shooting effort.
Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the NBA’s longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine, by Philadelphia’s Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.
It was Westbrook’s 12th tripledouble this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA’s active leader in the category and ranks sixth all time.
The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook’s triple-double binge.
Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Bucks 114-110. … Andre Drummond had 22 points and 22 rebounds for his second straight 20-20 game as the Pistons cruised to a 117-90 victory over the Timberwolves. … LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA career scoring list, and the Cavaliers hammered the Heat 114-84. James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time league MVP was removed about a minute later. … Kyle Lowry scored 21 of his season-high 34 points in the second half to help the Raptors hold on for a 101-94 victory over the Celtics. … Nic Batum and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist each had 16 points, and the Hornets routed the Magic 109-88. … Harrison Barnes scored 25 points to guide the Mavericks past the Pacers 111-103.
Private over public for Melo. Carmelo Anthony indicated Friday that he’d prefer to hear criticism from within the team in private rather than having it stated publicly, as Knicks president Phil Jackson did this week, and that he doesn’t want any negativity to envelop the team. … The NBA denied the Raptors’ protest of their 102-99 loss to Sacramento on Nov. 20. Toronto argued that the game officials incorrectly called for an instant replay review of whether Raptors forward Terrence Ross released a 3-point shot before time expired.