Jazz out of tune in Rockets’ win

HOUSTON – James Harden tallied a game-high 33 points as the Houston Rockets recovered from a sluggish first half to surge past the Utah Jazz 103-94 last night at Toyota Center.

James Harden (with ball) led Rockets’ offence.
James Harden (with ball) led Rockets’ offence.

Harden drilled an elbow jumper with 2:47 remaining and added a driving layup with 1:51 left to keep the Jazz at bay. Harden finished 13-for-25 from the floor despite missing all seven of his 3-point attempts.
Terrence Jones chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds, while Jason Terry and Marcus Thornton scored 12 points apiece off the Houston bench.
Gordon Hayward paced the Jazz with 15 points, while Trevor Booker (12 points), Chris Johnson (11) and Trey Burke (10) scored in double figures off the bench. Utah dropped its third consecutive game.
In Chicago all five starters scored in double figures for the Bulls, which extended their season-high winning streak to six games with a 101-92 victory against Boston.
Jimmy Butler finished with 19 points and 10 assists for Chicago, while Pau Gasol had 17 points and 18 rebounds for his 19th double-double this season.
Jae Crowder (17 points) led the way for the Celtics, who were coached by assistant Jay Larranaga while head coach Brad Stevens visited a hospitalized former player he coached at Butler University.
In Philadelphia Kent Bazemore scored 22 points, nine in a pivotal stretch late in the third quarter, as Atlanta Hawks beat mistake-prone Philadelphia 76ers 126 – 98.
Al Horford and Paul Millsap had 18 points each for Atlanta, which snapped a two-game losing streak. The Hawks converted 22 Philadelphia giveaways into 29 points.
Jahlil Okafor had 21 points to lead Philadelphia, while Ish Smith had 12 points and seven assists.
In Sacramento Rajon Rondo scored on a running floater inside the key, then forced a turnover on the next defensive possession to save Sacramento Kings from an embarrassing loss and provide a 118-115 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at Sleep Train Arena.
Kobe Bryant scored 28 points in his 34th and final regular-season appearance in Sacramento.
DeMarcus Cousins finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Kings beat the Lakers for the fifth consecutive time. His effort led six players in double figures for Sacramento.

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