Portland, Ore. • Damian Lillard had 32 points and 10 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Miami Heat 115-99 on Monday night for their 10th straight victory.
Jusuf Nurkic added 27 points and 16 rebounds for the Blazers, who have the longest current winning streak in the NBA and a two-game lead over Oklahoma City for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
The Heat used an 18-2 run to start the fourth quarter to trim a 19-point deficit to three, but Lillard took charge for the Blazers, just as he has throughout the winning streak. The All-Star guard broke Portland's drought of over five minutes with a 3-pointer midway through the period to put Portland back in front by six, and the Blazers stayed safely ahead from there.
Lillard, a former Weber State star, scored 21 points after halftime. He leads the league in second-half scoring.
Goran Dragic scored 23 points for the Heat, who were without two key players in starting center Hassan Whiteside and sixth man Dwyane Wade.
The Blazers closed the first quarter on a 14-4 lead to take a 34-25 lead, capped by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from rookie Zach Collins. Another 3-pointer by Collins with 7:03 left in the second quarter put Portland up 45-33, forcing the Heat to call time.
Lillard came in averaging nearly 33 points during the streak, which includes two victories over the NBA champion Golden State Warriors. "I think this might be the best level that he's played," coach Terry Stotts said. "I thought what he did last year after the All-Star break was amazing. He carried us to the playoffs last year, showing great leadership and a high quality of play. It might be better this year, but we still have 16 games to go."
Rockets 109, Spurs 93 • In Houston, James Harden scored 16 of his 28 points in the third quarter to allow the Rockets to build a huge lead and sail to an easy victory over San Antonio.
The NBA’s leading scorer took a little while to get going a night after sitting out against Dallas with a sore left knee and had just 12 points at halftime.
Despite his slow start, the Rockets had a comfortable lead in the third and were still up by 13 after a basket by San Antonio’s Dejounte Murray with about eight minutes left in the quarter. It was then that Harden took over, scoring the next eight points to start a 16-4 run that extended the lead to 82-57 with about 3 1/2 minutes left in the third and had coach Gregg Popovich calling for a timeout.
Harden had a 3-pointer and made three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to propel that spurt. He didn’t return in the fourth quarter with the game in hand.
The Spurs, who were without leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge, got 14 points each from Bryn Forbes and Derrick White. They lost for the fifth time in six games as they fight for a playoff spot.
Buck 121, Grizzlies 103 • In Memphis, Tenn., Khris Middleton scored 24 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 20 and Milwaukee sent Memphis to its 18th consecutive loss.
Brandon Jennings, signed to a 10-day contract by Milwaukee on Sunday, finished two rebounds short of a triple-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Eric Bledsoe added 14 points, including a trio of baskets to stem a fourth-quarter Memphis rally.
Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 17 points, while Jarell Martin, Dillon Brooks and Ben McLemore scored 16 apiece.
Thunder 106, Kings 101 • In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 17 points and notched his 20th triple-double of the season to help the Thunder beat Sacramento.
Westbrook had 10 rebounds and 11 assists in the 99th triple-double of his career.
Paul George and Carmelo Anthony each scored 21 points for the Thunder, who moved into fourth place in the Western Conference standings.
Thunder center Steven Adams left the game in the third quarter with a left hip contusion and did not return. Just two days earlier against San Antonio, he hurt his left ankle in the third quarter and did not return.
Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Garrett Temple and Justin Jackson each added 15 for the Kings.