Houston Rockets defeat Boston Celtics thanks to inspired James Harden

Houston Rockets v Charlotte Hornets

The Houston Rockets held off a late rally from the Boston Celtics to record their fifth win in a row.

James Harden led the way with 42 points – his 24th 40-point game of the season – as the Rockets clinched a 115-104 victory.

Houston are in fifth place in the Western Conference, just a game behind the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Detroit Pistons overcame an 11-point deficit in the third quarter to edge the Toronto Raptors 112-107 in overtime.

Blake Griffin finished with 27 points and seven rebounds, while Luke Kennard added 19 points to help the Pistons claim sole possession of sixth place in the Eastern Conference.

Oklahoma also had to fight back to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 99-95.

Russell Westbook scored 12 of his 22 points in the final period to overcome a fourth-quarter 13-point deficit.

Alex Len’s season-high 28 points helped the Atlanta Hawks defeat Chicago 123-118, just days after another meeting of the two teams saw the Bulls triumph in a fourth overtime.

Atlanta Hawks v Chicago Bulls

Meanwhile, the New York Knicks were resigned to their 50th loss of the season as they fell 128-107 to the Los Angeles Clippers, while Rodney Hood recorded 27 points to help Portland topple the Charlotte Hornets 118-108.

The Cleveland Cavaliers had a strong final quarter to beat the Orlando Magic 107-93, and Bobby Portis was the top-scorer with 26 points as the Washington Wizards won 135-121 against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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