James Harden fires Houston Rockets to victory over Los Angeles Lakers

Houston Rockets guard James Harden scored 39 in the win
Houston Rockets guard James Harden scored 39 in the win - (Copyright AP)
7:38am, Fri 07 Aug 2020
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James Harden scored 39 points as the Houston Rockets saw off a LeBron James-less Los Angeles Lakers 113-97.

The Western Conference champions went down for the second game in succession despite scoring 10 in a row in the fourth quarter to come within five points of Houston.

But the Rockets, playing without Russell Westbrook, put their foot back on the gas to take the win.

The Milwaukee Bucks took the Eastern Conference title with a 130-116 win over the Miami Heat, although it was far from plain sailing.

The Heat put 73 points on the board in the first half and led by more than 20 points at one stage, but the Bucks were powered to victory with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton scoring 33 points apiece.

Elsewhere, the Phoenix Suns won their fourth straight game in the NBA bubble, defeating the Indiana Pacers 114-99 and Bogdan Bogdanovic notched up a career-high 35 points in the 140-125 win for the Sacramento Kings over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Los Angeles Clippers saw off the Dallas Mavericks 126-111 and the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Denver Nuggets 125-115, with Damian Lillard scoring 45 as Portland close in on the eighth seed in the Western.

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