Basketball Basketball

Rockets blast Blazers, Spurs eclipse Suns

James Harden helped the Houston Rockets halt a three-game losing streak with 29 points against Portland © GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP / Rob Carr

LOS ANGELES, United States, Dec 12James Harden scored 29 points as the Houston Rockets halted their three-game losing streak with a 111-103 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday.

Reigning NBA MVP Harden also chipped in four assists on a night when seven Rockets players finished in double digits.

Rockets point guard Chris Paul produced a triple double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists as Houston improved to 12-14.

Mike D’Antoni’s side remain near the foot of the Western Conference, one place off the bottom ahead of the Phoenix Suns, who are 4-24.

The Trail Blazers meanwhile slipped to 15-12 with the defeat, leaving them in eighth place in the Western Conference table.

The Blazers led the scoring on Tuesday with Damian Lillard pouring in 34 points and C.J.McCollum adding 22.

But the Rockets’ scoring off the bench proved decisive for Houston, with Nene, (10 points), Danuel House Jr (12) and Gerald Green (13) all contributing.

In San Antonio, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich bagged his 1,211th career win, putting him fourth on the list of career victories, after a 111-86 blowout over the hapless Suns.

The victory took Popovich one game clear of Pat Riley, the five-time NBA champion, who has 1,210 career wins.

Don Nelson leads the list of coaches with the most victories, with 1,335 wins ahead of Lenny Wilkens and Jerry Sloan.

Tuesday’s win lifted the Spurs to 14-14 for the season but they remain in 10th place in the Western standings, two places outside the playoffs.