Houston Rockets star James Harden did not look like an MVP candidate against the Detroit Pistons, but an added five minutes was all he needed.
Harden was just two of 16 from the floor after four quarters, including a missed shot that would have won the game for Houston in regulation. In the extra period of the Rockets' 100-96 win, Harden scored 10 of Houston's 12 points.
"Offensively we couldn't get it going but [it's] like that sometimes," Harden told reporters after the game. "Got to find ways to win games."
Usually lethal from beyond the arc, Houston shot just 23 per cent from deep, which was still better than Detroit's 15 per cent.
The sloppy game saw 27 combined turnovers and 36 fouls but "a win is a win" for the Rockets, who recorded their league-leading 58th victory of the season.
Kemba Walker scored 46 points and hit 10 three-pointers as the Hornets recorded the largest victory in franchise history by beating the Grizzlies 140-79. The 61-point win was the sixth biggest in NBA history.
Walker was 13 of 18 from the field and a perfect 10 of 10 at the free-throw line in just 28 minutes.
The Magic tried to keep pace in the tank-a-thon with a 20-point loss to the 76ers on Thursday. Orlando had just one starter in double figures (Aaron Gordon, 10) as the team trailed by 30 to begin the fourth quarter.
Lonzo Ball was just two of 15 from the floor in a three-point loss to the Pelicans and he will learn quickly that even the best guards have no chance inside against Anthony Davis.
Charlotte Hornets 140-79 Memphis Grizzlies
Philadelphia 76ers 118-98 Orlando Magic
New Orleans Pelicans 128-125 Los Angeles Lakers
Houston Rockets 100-96 (OT) Detroit Pistons
Utah Jazz 119-112 Dallas Mavericks
Sacramento Kings 105-90 Atlanta Hawks
CELTICS AT TRAIL BLAZERS
Boston make the cross-country trip following Tuesday’s last-second win over the Thunder. The Celtics play seven of their last 11 regular season games on the road but it is not a bad thing as the club own the best Eastern Conference road record with just 10 losses.