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NBA game roundup: Harden, Rockets top Thunder

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HOUSTON — Guard James Harden flirted with a triple-double as the Houston Rockets rode the wave of a blistering first quarter to a 112-101 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night at Toyota Center.

Harden totaled 31 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds as the Rockets placed all five starters plus reserve forward Josh Smith (13 points, seven rebounds) in double figures.

Forwards Trevor Ariza and Donatas Motiejunas added 17 and 14 points, respectively, while center Dwight Howard and guard Patrick Beverley scored 13 apiece. Howard added eight rebounds.

Thunder guard Russell Westbrook finished with 16 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Forward Kevin Durant recorded team highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds, while reserve guard Reggie Jackson added 16 points.

Bucks 95, Knicks 79

Forward Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points in his return to action, but it wasn’t nearly enough to help New York avoid a loss to Milwaukee in London. The Knicks, losers of a franchise-record 16 in a row, were never in the game.

New York couldn’t buy a shot to open the game, missing their first five from the field while Milwaukee jumped out to a 14-0 lead. Bucks guard O.J. Mayo hit four 3-pointers to finish with a team-best 22 points. Guard Brandon Knight had 20 points, five rebounds, six assists and six steals.

In his first game since New Year’s Eve, Anthony ended up playing 28 minutes. New York also got 13 points from small forward Travis Wear.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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