NBA ROUND UP: Paul leads Rockets past Portland, Clippers stun Warriors
Chris Paul angered Damian Lillard as he inspired the Houston Rockets to a 121-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers, while Kevin Durant celebrated a milestone but reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors lost.
Paul is not a very controversial player but Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard took exception to Paul's last basket on Wednesday.
Already up seven points with the clock winding down, Paul drove through the lane and made a layup. He scored a game-high 37 points with 11 assists and seven rebounds.
Paul continued to step up his game in James Harden's absence. Shooting guard Eric Gordon scored 30 points with five rebounds.
Lillard led the Trail Blazers with 29 points and eight assists, while C.J. McCollum added 24 points, but the Rockets jumped out to a 10-point half-time lead and Portland could not claw their way back.
The Rockets (29-11) have now won four of their last six games after losing five straight. Still second in the Western Conference, Houston boasts the third-best record in the league.
Durant became the second-youngest player to score 20,000 points, however, it was not enough to prevent the Warriors from suffering a surprise 125-106 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Warriors star scored 40 points but Golden State struggled without Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson.
BULLS SURVIVE DOUBLE OT THANKS TO MARKKANEN
Chicago Bulls center Lauri Markkanen exploded for a career-high 33 points with 10 rebounds in a 122-119 double-overtime win over the New York Knicks. Markkanen drained eight three-pointers, which tied Dirk Nowitzki for the most in a game by a seven-footer in NBA history.
The Minnesota Timberwolves earned their second straight blowout win over a potential championship contender, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 104-88 thanks to Jimmy Butler's 26 points. Minnesota trumped the Cleveland Cavaliers in their last game.
DINWIDDIE CRASHES BACK TO EARTH
Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie took a step back from his rising stock by scoring just two points in an ugly 114-80 loss to the Detroit Pistons. Dinwiddie had scored at least 20 points in his last three games, including a 31-point effort against the Toronto Raptors, but crashed back to earth against the Pistons.
WILLIAMS DAZZLES FOR CLIPPERS
Lou Williams led the way with a career-high 50 points as the Clippers upstaged the Warriors.
Miami Heat 114-106 Indiana Pacers
Dallas Mavericks 115-111 Charlotte Hornets
Utah Jazz 107-104 Washington Wizards
Chicago Bulls 122-119 (2OT) New York Knicks
Detroit Pistons 114-80 Brooklyn Nets
Houston Rockets 121-112 Portland Trail Blazers
Milwaukee Bucks 110-103 Orlando Magic
Minnesota Timberwolves 104-88 Oklahoma City Thunder
Memphis Grizzlies 105-102 New Orleans Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 110-97 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Clippers 125-106 Golden State Warriors
CELTICS AT 76ERS
Playing in London's fantastic O2 Arena, the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers head across the pond to try and continue their respective winning streaks on Thursday. The 76ers have won four in a row, while the Celtics have won six consecutive games, further distancing themselves from the rest of the Eastern Conference.