NBA wrap: Rockets pull off double-OT win over Lakers, James Harden leaves injured

The Rockets rallied late to pull off a double-overtime 148-142 win over the Lakers, but James Harden left the game with a leg injury.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden in action against Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.   -  AP

The Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Lakers came ready to play on New Year's Eve. After going into double overtime, the Rockets (26-9) walked away with a thrilling 148-142 win over the Lakers (11-24), and it all came down to the final seconds of the game after 58 minutes of play.

Both teams entered the game looking to end a five-game losing streak, and the Rockets was able to snap its skid. Ironically, Houston's losing streak all began with a loss to the Lakers on Dec. 20.

When it came down to it, the Rockets played both overtimes without its biggest star. Late in the fourth quarter, James Harden drove in for a layup and came up limping with only 54 seconds left. Harden didn't return to the game and it was later reported that he strained his left hamstring. Harden ended the night with 40 points and 11 assists.

Chris Paul took over offensively after Harden left. In the two overtimes alone, he recorded 15 points and three assists to key Houston's victory. He finished the night with 28 points, 10 assists and six rebounds.

Sunday's NBA wrap: Stephen Curry shines on return, leads Warriors past Grizzlies

For the Lakers, which was without three starters (Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope), Julius Randle came up huge with season-highs of 29 points and 15 rebounds. He made a statement early in the game, hitting six of his first eight shots and grabbing 10 rebounds by halftime.

Three other Lakers scored 20-plus points: Josh Hart (26), Kyle Kuzma (23), and Tyler Ennis (20). The Lakers had a seven-point lead at halftime and with 6:34 remaining in the third quarter, it led by 17 points. But the Rockets rallied to force overtime.

From there it was a back-and-forth shootout until the Rockets sealed the win in the second overtime with Paul making two free throws with three seconds remaining for the final margin.

STUDS OF THE NIGHT

Lou Williams was responsible for more than half his team's points in the Clippers' 106-98 win over the Hornets. The veteran guard tallied 40 points with eight assists, and even more impressive than that, he came off the bench.

The Wizards just barely pulled off a win against the Bulls (114-110) and it had Bradley Beal to thank for that. Washington relied on Beal down the stretch as he scored 17 points in the fourth quarter alone. He finished the game with 39 points, nine assists and nine rebounds.

Russell Westbrook put up 38 points with 15 rebounds and 11 assists, but it wasn't enough as the Thunder lost to the Mavericks. He shot 17-of-28 from the field.

DUD OF THE NIGHT 

Marvin Williams really didn't help the Hornets in its loss to the Clippers. While he started, he only played 17 minutes and didn't score. He was 0-of-6 shooting and missed all three attempts behind the arc.

HIGHLIGHT 

76ers Ben Simmons drives and dunks late in the fourth quarter. He gave Philadelphia 21 points with nine rebounds and six assists.

 

WHAT'S NEXT 

Bucks (19-15) at Raptors (24-10) — The Bucks will ring in the New Year in Toronto as it takes on the Raptors for the first time this season. The Raptors, which is second in the Eastern Conference behind the Celtics, will look to start a new winning streak after losing two of its last three games. The Bucks won its last two against the Timberwolves and the Thunder.