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Butler injured as Rockets push run to 11

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) James Harden wrapped up another 30-point night and another Rockets victory, then made his way to Minnesota's training room.

Even the Timberwolves' opponents were concerned about Jimmy Butler.

Harden scored 31 points and Houston won its 11th straight game with a 120-102 victory Friday night over the Timberwolves, who lost Butler to an apparent right knee injury.


Blazers end Utah's 11-game win streak

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard believe the crucial stretch of the long NBA season starts now and the Portland Trail Blazers have laser-like focus.

"We understand what's at stake now," McCollum said. "One game - a loss or a win - could sway the Western Conference playoff race."


Davis eclipses 40 again as Pelicans win

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Anthony Davis vigorously punched his arm through the air as the final horn provided a fourth straight triumphant ending to a fourth straight prolific performance. The All-Star then faced the exuberant New Orleans crowd with both arms raised and began exchanging high fives with beckoning fans along the edge of the court.

Davis had 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots and five steals, and the Pelicans beat the Miami Heat 124-123 in overtime Friday night.


Bucks win in OT, Raptors' run ends at 7

TORONTO (AP) Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks felt extra good about getting a rare win against the Toronto Raptors.

Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, and Milwaukee snapped Toronto's seven-game win streak with a 122-119 overtime victory Friday night.


Randle stars as Lakers win Ball's return

LOS ANGELES (AP) The attention was supposed to be about the return of rookie Lonzo Ball. Apparently Julius Randle had his own ideas.

Randle had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists to overshadow Ball's triumphant return to the lineup, and the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 124-102 on Friday night.


James has 18-14-11 as Cavs down Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Cleveland revamped its roster at the trade deadline. The Cavaliers' leader didn't change.

LeBron James had 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in his 11th triple-double of the season, and the Cavaliers pulled away after a slow start to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 112-89 on Friday night.


Jokic triple-double gets Denver by Spurs

DENVER (AP) Denver coach Michael Malone thinks Nikola Jokic should in the MVP conversation. The young center is proving worthy of the praise.

Jokic had 28 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists before fouling out, Wilson Chandler had 18 points and a season-high 16 rebounds, and the Nuggets beat the San Antonio Spurs 122-119 on Friday night.


Celtics beat Pistons to snap skid at 3

DETROIT (AP) Daniel Theis did his part to add to Germany's big day.

The Boston rookie scored a career-high 19 points to lift the Celtics to a 110-98 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night. Afterward, Theis tried to bring some attention to a surprising Olympic victory for his native country.


Clippers open on 19-0 run to rout Suns

PHOENIX (AP) The Los Angeles Clippers made quick work of the Phoenix Suns, very quick.

Five minutes into the game, the Clippers led 19-0 and the staggering Suns never recovered.


Pacers rout Hawks for fourth win in row

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Thaddeus Young just wanted to supply the Indiana Pacers with energy. He ended up giving them plenty of points, too.

Young scored 16 of his 20 points in the first half and the Pacers never trailed in a 116-93 rout of the hapless Atlanta Hawks on Friday night.

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