76ers Rockets Basketball
James Harden has recorded a 44-point triple-double with Houston rolling to a 118-108 NBA victory over Philadelphia despite Ben Simmons producing a 29-point version of the same feat.
Harden posted 11 rebounds and 11 assists and intermittently carried the Rockets when things went awry on Friday, while Simmons grabbed 13 rebounds and had 11 assists.
The Australian also blocked four shots and made three steals to complement his first triple-double of the season.
Clint Capela added 30 points and 14 rebounds for Houston to outpace 76ers centre Joel Embiid (20 points, 12 boards).
The defeat is Philadelphia's fourth in a row since a Christmas Day blistering of Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee.
Harden was spectacular throughout, converting six of 12 3-pointers while finishing 12-for-12 at the free-throw line.
When the 76ers mounted one last desperate push with just under three minutes remaining, cutting the deficit to 108-102 on a Simmons lay-up, Harden responded with back-to-back 3s to snuff the rally.
Tobias Harris added 24 points but Philadelphia shot just six of 27 from behind the arc and suffered multiple breakdowns attempting to defend Harden.
Devin Booker scored 38 points and Kelly Oubre Jnr added 29 as the Phoenix Suns rallied in the fourth quarter to beat New York 120-112.
Australia's Aron Baynes was also a key contributor for the Suns with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Booker scored at least 30 points for the fifth straight game, the longest streak of his career and tying a franchise high.
Former Suns forward Marcus Morris scored 25 points for New York.
Terrence Ross had 25 points while Nikola Vucevic produced 20 points and 11 rebounds as Orlando shut down Miami 105-85.
The Heat scored only six points in the fourth quarter, going three for 19 from the field.
Aaron Gordon had 16 points and eight rebounds for the Magic while Evan Fournier scored 15 points despite spending most of the game in foul trouble.
A day after holding Toronto to six-of-42 from 3-point range in a victory at home, Miami shot seven for 37 from long range and 37.5 per cent overall.
In Boston, Jaylen Brown had 24 points and 10 rebounds to help the Celtics overcome an 18-point first-quarter deficit against the NBA's worst team to beat Atlanta 109-106.
In the schedule-closing clash in Los Angeles, Anthony Davis scored 46 points against his former team as the Lakers rolled over New Orleans 123-113.
It was Davis' second straight 40-point game against the team he played seven seasons for after he was the top overall pick in 2012.
He also had 13 rebounds for his 16th double-double of the season.
LeBron James had 17 points and 15 assists for the Lakers, who have won four straight after having a season-high, four-game losing streak.
Damian Lillard scored 35 points and CJ McCollum added 24 in Portland's 122-103 away win over Washington.
Hassan Whiteside added 23 points, 21 rebounds and five blocks for the Trail Blazers, who snapped a five-game losing streak.