Harden’s streak survives but Wolves ground Rockets


LOS ANGELES: James Harden joined some elite company by scoring at least 30 points in his 31st straight game on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), but the Houston Rockets lost 121-111 to the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Harden scored a team high 42 points and is now tied with hall of famer Wilt Chamberlain for the second longest 30-point plus streak in NBA history.

Harden will have to wait a week to try and pass Chamberlain for the second longest streak as Wednesday’s loss was the Rockets’ final game before the all-star break. They return next Thursday to face the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center.

Houston Rockets’ James Harden, left, dribbles as Minnesota Timberwolves’ Jeff Teague defends in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday in Minneapolis. AP PHOTO

It is unlikely, but not impossible, for Harden to catch Chamberlain for the longest streak in NBA history, which stands at 65 straight games.

Houston is 16-6 when Harden scored 40 points, but the Timberwolves used a balanced attack and an inside game to beat the Rockets on Wednesday .

Jeff Teague scored 27 points and Karl-Anthony Towns had 25 as seven Minnesota players scored in double figures.

Harden’s 30th point on Wednesday came in the third quarter on a three-pointer from the top of the key.

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Harden’s streak appeared to be in jeopardy early on as he had just 5 points at the end of the first quarter.

An explosive 15-point second quarter put Harden back on pace to keep his streak alive.

Harden tried to add to his point total with a long shot from almost center court at the buzzer, but the ball hit the front of the rim and bounced harmlessly away.

It was his 22nd three-point attempt of the night, of which he made just eight baskets.

No other player on the Rockets attempted more than eight three pointers and Josh Okogie had the most three point attempts for the Timberwolves with just six.

Meanwhile, Giannis Antetokounmpo posted a triple double with 33 points 19 rebounds and 11 assists, as the Milwaukee Bucks extended their longest road winning streak in 33 years with a 106-97 win over Indiana.

Antetokounmpo had a hand in every basket by the Bucks in the first quarter and led them back from a 10-point deficit in the fourth.

“The team did a great job keeping its composure,” Antetokounmpo said. “We changed the lineup, played harder and switched everything. We were able to make Indiana go one-on-one, and I think we did a better job rebounding the ball and running the floor.”

The three-time all-star from Greece carried the NBA-leading Bucks to their seventh consecutive win on the road on Wednesday. It is the longest road winning streak since the 1984-85 season. Milwaukee has also won eight of their last nine games just before the league’s all-star break.

Elsewhere, Damian Lillard scored 29 points as the Portland Trail Blazers snapped Golden State’s 11-game road winning streak with a 129-107 win that featured Warriors coach Steve Kerr losing his cool and being thrown out for arguing with the officials.

Jake Layman added 17 points off the bench for the Blazers, who had eight players in double figures. The win snapped a two-game skid.

Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry each had 32 points for the Warriors, who watched the game turn on a flagrant foul called on Draymond Green.

AFP

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