Basketball / NBA

James Harden, Rockets hold off Raptors

AP

In a season filled with lots of injuries that have resulted in just as many ups and downs, the Houston Rockets have found help in unlikely places.

When Chris Paul was injured, they got a boost by signing Austin Rivers following his release by the Suns. And after the recent injury to Clint Capela, Houston scooped up Kenneth Faried after he was released by the Nets. After just three games, Faried is proving to be another great fit as he scored 21 points and had a season-high 14 rebounds Friday to help the Rockets to a 121-119 win over the Toronto Raptors.

“The lift was great,” James Harden said. “Kenneth brought the energy that we’ve been waiting on.”

Harden scored 35 points for his 22nd straight game with 30 or more and Houston never trailed.

After averaging 52.2 points over the last five games, capped by a franchise-record 61 in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks, Harden’s torrid scoring pace slowed a bit as all of Houston’s starters scored 10 points or more.

Eric Gordon led that group with 24.

It’s the 22nd straight game in which Harden has led his team and Houston’s opponent in scoring, which moves him past Michael Jordan for the second-longest streak in NBA history behind Wilt Chamberlain, who did it in 40 in a row.

In Other Games

Bucks 108, Hornets 99

Nets 109, Knicks 99

Nuggets 132, Suns 95

Wizards 95, Magic 91

Clippers 106, Bulls 101

Jazz 106, Timberwolves 102

Mavericks 106, Pistons 101

Heat 100, Cavaliers 94

Kings 99, Grizzlies 96