Harden shines as Rockets soar

Colin Cowherd knows exactly how No. 3 Notre Dame and No. 12 Syracuse will end on Saturday

The NBA’s leading scorer made nine of 13 shots, sank four of seven three-point attempts and converted all eight from the charity stripe in 30 minutes of action.

Dwight Howard, who got into a first-quarter altercation with Brooklyn forward Kevin Garnett, finished with eight points and five rebounds in 28 minutes. Garnett was ejected after head-butting Howard.

Mason Plumlee collected 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets (16-22), who dropped their sixth straight while Houston (27-11) have won four in a row.

Nikola Vucevic and Victor Oladipo each scored 33 points to help the Orlando Magic snap a six-game losing streak with a 121-114 victory over the Chicago Bulls (26-13).

Elfrid Payton added 10 points and was the only other double-digit scorer for Orlando (14-27). Pau Gasol scored 28 points to lead five Bulls in double figures while Derrick Rose added 18 points and Jimmy Butler 17.

On a night when Boston officially traded away their leading scorer Jeff Green on the heels of other moves that also saw Rajon Rondo shipped out, the Celtics rallied from six points down in the final 7:20 to beat New Orleans 108-100.

The Boston win came several hours after the two teams were involved in a three-team trade in which Memphis acquired Green and the Pelicans re-acquired Quincy Pondexter.

Down by six, Jared Sullinger scored his team’s next eight points to pull the Celtics (13-23) even before they edged ahead for good. Sullinger finished with 27 points and 10 rebounds while New Orleans (18-19) got a game-high 34 from Anthony Davis.

Brandon Jennings scored 34 points and had 10 assists as the Detroit Pistons overcame the Toronto Raptors 114-111.

Jodie Meeks, who had 13 points, hit a decisive three-pointer in the final minute as the Pistons (14-24) won their second game in a row and their ninth in the past 10 games. The Raptors (25-12) have lost five of their past six and fallen from top spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Raptors led by as many as 14 points in the first half and got a career-best 31 points from Jonas Valanciunas, who also added 12 rebounds.


Boston Celtics 108-100 New Orleans Pelicans
Brooklyn Nets 99-113 Houston Rockets
Chicago Bulls 114-121 Orlando Magic
Toronto Raptors 111-114 Detroit Pistons