NBA wrap: Rockets extend win streak to 15 games; Cavs' defense rears its ugly head

Houston was able to lock up its 15th straight victory, 10 of which came against teams with a .500 record or better.

Houston Rockets center Clint Capela dunks against the Boston Celtics during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday.   -  AP

Houston got some revenge on the Celtics Saturday with a 123-120 win at Toyota Center. After Boston came back from 26 points down to defeat Houston Dec. 29, the Rockets had been looking for some payback.

Houston was able to lock up its 15th straight victory, 10 of which came against teams with a .500 record or better. Eric Gordon led the way with 29 points with seven made 3-pointers. His hot shooting in the fourth quarter was key to help the Rockets come back from several deficits.

"He's a big part of what we're trying to do. These last couple games we've been missing that spark off the bench, and he was big for us and he's been doing that since he's been here," James Harden, who finished with 28 points himself, told ESPN after the game.

READ: NBA wrap: Sparks fly in final seconds of 76ers' win over Cavaliers

For the Cavaliers though, it had struggled to win even two of its last six games and fell to the Nuggets 126-117 surrendering a season-worst 19 3-pointers to Denver. Cleveland gave up 73 points in the first half, which was just two points shy of its worst defensive half of the season.

In adding Larry Nance Jr., George Hill, Rodney Hood and Jordan Clarkson at the break, the Cavaliers thought it had solved their defensive problems, but Saturday proved that to be pure falsehood.

"We're all trying to get better. It's not just the guys at the deadline, it's all of us, we're all trying to figure it out," LeBron James told reporters after the game, via the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.

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Detroit's Blake Griffin had 31 points and six assists while Andre Drummond added 22 points and 18 rebounds, but the Pistons fell to the Heat 105-96.

Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball had 18 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, but more importantly, Los Angeles handed the Spurs a 116-112 defeat.

Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, but it was CJ McCollum's 28 points and eight rebounds which led the Trail Blazers to a 108-100 win over OKC.

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Cavaliers swing man Rodney Hood went 3 for 9 from the floor and 0 for 4 from 3-point range with just six points in 26 minutes of play.


Magic forward Mario Hezonja had two of his 16 points in Orlando's 107-100 win over the Grizzlies with a massive windmill dunk.


76ers (34-27) at Bucks (33-29) 8 p.m. ET — Philadelphia and Milwaukee are separated by 1 1/2 games in the fight for playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Sixers have won nine of their last 11 while the Bucks have lost four in a row. Milwaukee has to figure some things out as every game matters down the stretch in the East in 2018.

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