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NBA roundup: James Harden, Clint Capela lead red-hot Rockets past Nuggets

Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, pushes off Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers during the first half on Monday night in Houston. (Michael Wyke / AP)
Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, left, pushes off Houston Rockets guard Austin Rivers during the first half on Monday night in Houston. (Michael Wyke / AP)

James Harden scored 32 points, Clint Capela added a career-high 31 and the Houston Rockets beat the Denver Nuggets 125-113 on Monday night in Houston.

P.J. Tucker set a career best with seven 3-pointers and scored a season-high 21 points to help Houston win for the 12th time in 14 games. Capela had 19 points by halftime as Harden fed him again and again when Denver double-teamed him behind the 3-point line.

Gerald Green had 21 points and six 3s on a night when Houston made 22 for its sixth game this season with at least 20.

Nikola Jokic scored 24 points for the Nuggets, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Harden had 14 assists, six 3-pointers and scored at least 30 points for the 13th straight game.

Lakers 107, Mavericks 97: In Dallas, Brandon Ingram scored 29 points and Lonzo Ball added 21 as the Los Angeles Lakers handed the Dallas Mavericks a rare home loss.

The Lakers won for just the second time in seven games since LeBron James strained his groin on Christmas Day, and they swept the season series from the Mavericks 3-0.

Los Angeles surged ahead by outscoring the Mavericks 32-13 in the third quarter.

Luka Doncic scored 27 points to lead Dallas. The rookie was virtually the entire Mavericks offense in the second half, making six of his team’s field goals after the break. Dallas had 11 turnovers in the second half in addition to 11-for-43 shooting.

Dallas fell to 16-4 at home. The Mavericks entered the day tied for the fewest home losses in the NBA.

Trail Blazers 111, Knicks 101: In Portland, Jusuf Nurkic had 20 points for his fourth straight game with 20 or more and Portland beat New York.

Damian Lillard added 17 points and nine assists for Portland, which has won four of five. CJ McCollum also had 17 points.

Enes Kanter came off the bench with 18 points and 14 rebounds for his third straight double-double for the Knicks, who have lost nine of 10.

The teams played a lackluster first half, but Portland pulled away in the third quarter, stretching the lead to 18 points at one point.

Bucks 114, Jazz 102: In Milwaukee, Giannis Antetokounmpo had 30 points and Malcolm Brogdon scored 21 to lead Milwaukee past Utah.

Thon Maker added a season-high 15 points off the bench for the Bucks, who were coming off a loss to Toronto on Saturday night. Milwaukee improved to 28-11, the second-best record in the NBA.

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points and Rudy Gobert had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Jazz, who lost starting point guard Ricky Rubio to a right hamstring injury less than five minutes into the game. He didn’t return.

Antetokounmpo grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out with 42.9 seconds remaining.

Celtics 116, Nets 95: In Boston, Kyrie Irving returned after missing two games with an eye injury and scored 17 points to lead eight players in double figures as Boston beat Brooklyn.

Jayson Tatum added 16 points for the Celtics, who won their third straight game.

Rodions Kurucs led the Nets with 24 points. Brooklyn lost for just the fourth time in 16 games.

Irving was out after scratching both corneas in a collision Dec. 31 at San Antonio.

Spurs 119, Pistons 107: In Detroit, DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and coach Gregg Popovich moved another step higher on the NBA’s career wins list as San Antonio defeated Detroit.

Popovich has 1,221 victories. He’s tied with Jerry Sloan for third place, trailing only Don Nelson and Lenny Wilkens.

A 23-2 run spanning parts of the first and second quarters put the Spurs up 45-33.

LaMarcus Aldridge scored 25 points for San Antonio. Blake Griffin had 34 for the Pistons, and Andre Drummond added 19 points and 14 rebounds.

San Antonio was without forward Rudy Gay, sidelined with a sprained left wrist, but the Spurs still won a season-high fifth straight game. Detroit has lost seven of nine.

Kings 111, Magic 95: In Sacramento, California, De’Aaron Fox had 20 points and Sacramento snapped a four-game losing streak with a victory over Orlando.

Getting a little swagger back after blowing fourth-quarter leads in all four of those losses, the Kings went ahead by double digits in a dominant second period and led by 28 entering the fourth.

Bogdan Bogdanovic had 15 points and seven assists, and Buddy Hield scored 13 for the Kings. Willie Cauley-Stein added 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Justin Jackson also had 11 points.

In his first appearance since missing 11 games with a knee injury, Sacramento rookie Marvin Bagley III had eight points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.

Pelicans 114, Grizzlies 95: In New Orleans, Anthony Davis had 36 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots, and New Orleans pulled away from reeling Memphis down the stretch.

Second-year pro Frank Jackson scored a career-high 17 points for the Pelicans, who had won two straight for the first time since winning three in a row in mid-November.

Mike Conley had 22 points and 10 assists for the Grizzlies, not nearly enough to stem what is now a six-game slide.

Lakers 107, Mavericks 97: In Dallas, Brandon Ingram scored 29 points and Lonzo Ball added 21 as Los Angeles handed Dallas a rare home loss.

The two young Lakers responded to coach Luke Walton’s demand for more passion after a blowout loss to Minnesota on Sunday. The duo helped rally Los Angeles from a double-digit halftime deficit.

The Lakers won for just the second time in seven games since LeBron James strained his groin on Christmas Day, and they swept the season series from the Mavericks 3-0.

Los Angeles surged ahead by outscoring the Mavericks 32-13 in the third quarter.

Luka Doncic scored 27 points to lead Dallas, which fell to 16-4 at home.

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