(MENAFN -Arab News) HOUSTON: James Harden scored on a driving layup with 0.7 seconds left to lift the Houston Rockets to a 113-112 win over the Washington Wizards.
Houston (36-17) heads into the All-Star Game break riding a seven-game winning streak thanks largely to Harden, who scored 35 points and added six rebounds and six assists.
Houston center Dwight Howard added 24 points and 16 rebounds with three blocked shots.
The Wizards (25-27) erased a 19-point second-half deficit and led 112-110 when guard John Wall (19 points, 14 assists) hit two free throws with four seconds left.
However, Wizards forward Trevor Ariza (32 points, 11 rebounds) fouled Harden before the ball was in play on the ensuring inbounds pass. Harden hit a free throw and Houston retained possession, leading to the winning score.
Mavericks 81 Pacers 73: Guard Monta Ellis led the Mavericks with 23 points, nine rebounds and six assists, and visiting Dallas posted a win over the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers.
The Pacers (40-12) suffered a rare home defeat, falling to 25-3 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Mavericks (32-22) levelled their road record at 14-14, bouncing back from a blowout loss to the Bobcats in Charlotte on Tuesday.
Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki finished with 18 points and six rebounds, while four Pacers scored in double figures, led by guard George Hill’s 14 points.
Spurs 104 Celtics 92: Tim Duncan scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, including eight straight for his team at one point in the fourth quarter, leading the Spurs to a victory over the Boston Celtics in the final game for each team before the All-Star break.
The veteran big man, who will be 38 in April, led the Spurs in the absence of point guard Tony Parker (rested), injured guard Manu Ginobili and forward Tiago Splitter.
The Celtics, who had won four of their last five coming in, got 16 points from point guard Rajon Rondo, while forward Kris Humphries came off the bench with 15 points and six rebounds.
Kings 106 Knicks 101 OT: The Sacramento Kings stopped a seven-game road losing streak, turning back the New York Knicks in overtime.
Sacramento (18-35) guard Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 24 points, hitting six of eight three-pointers. Forward Rudy Gay added 20 points for the Kings.
Carmelo Anthony topped New York (20-32) with 36 points but the Knicks lost for the fifth time in their last six games. They finish the first half of the season in third place in the Atlantic Division.
Timberwolves 117 Nuggets 90: Kevin Love delivered a 32-point, 11-rebound, eight-assist game as the Minnesota Timberwolves ended a four-game losing streak and headed into the All-Star break on a positive note.
Minnesota (25-28) built a 34-point lead and thumped a Nuggets (24-27) team that lost four consecutive and six of their last eight games.
Wolves forward Corey Brewer added 22 points while reserve forward Jordan Hamilton led the hurting Nuggets with 16 off the bench.
Nets 105 Bobcats 89: Paul Pierce scored 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting as the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats. The Nets (24-26) used a 10-0 run to open the second half on their way to a 35-19 margin to pull away from a pesky Bobcats (23-30) team.
Coming into Wednesday, Bobcats center Al Jefferson had averaged 29 points per game and recorded 30 points in five of his last seven outings. He was held to just 12 in Brooklyn.
Grizzlies 86 Magic 81:Veteran forward Zack Randolph scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds, leading the Memphis Grizzlies to a victory over the Orlando Magic.
Rookie point guard Nick Calathes, who has replaced injured Mike Conley in the starting lineup, had 12 points, six assists, five rebounds and four steals for the Grizzlies (29-23).
The Magic (16-38) were led by center Nikola Vucevic, who had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Pelicans 102 Bucks 98: Pelicans center Alexis Ajinca set a season high with 16 points, and New Orleans beat the Milwaukee Bucks.
Ajinca stepped up big in the third after forward Anthony Davis picked up his fourth foul early in the quarter and headed to the bench.
The Bucks got within a point at the two-minute mark on a Nate Wolters three-pointer but could get no closer, losing for the fourth straight game despite a game-high 22 points and nine assists from Brandon Knight.
Raptors 104 Hawks 83: Guard DeMar DeRozan scored 14 of his 31 points in the third quarter as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Atlanta Hawks for their second consecutive win.
The Raptors (28-24) improved to 9-2 at home since Jan. 1 while handing the Hawks (25-26) their fifth consecutive loss.
Guard Kyle Lowry added 16 points, 13 assists and six rebounds for the Raptors.
Cavaliers 93 Pistons 89: Power forward Tristan Thompson scored a season-high 25 points and grabbed 15 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers extended their winning streak to a season-best four games with a triumph over the Detroit Pistons.
Point guard Kyrie Irving had 23 points for the Cavaliers (20-33), who snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Pistons despite trailing most of the way.
With the Pistons (22-30) within one point in the closing minute, Irving drained a three-pointer with 27.2 seconds left to help seal it.
Heat 111 Warriors 110: LeBron James swished a three-pointer over the outstretched arms of Andre Iguodala with one-tenth of a second remaining, lifting the Miami Heat to a narrow victory over the Golden State Warriors.
The thrilling finishing capped a sequence in which the teams traded leads four times in the final 1:22 after Golden State rallied from a 21-point deficit earlier.
James just missed a triple-double, adding 13 rebounds and nine assists to his 36 points.
Curry finished with 29 points for the Warriors (31-22) while Miami (37-14) was playing for the second consecutive night without star shooting guard Dwyane Wade, who has been bothered by headaches.
Clippers 122 Trail Blazers 117: Blake Griffin scored 36 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers held off the Portland Trail Blazers in a Western Conference shootout.
Griffin connected on 13-of-21 field goals to lead the Clippers (37-18) to their third straight win and drop Portland (36-17) to its second loss in a row and six in its last eight.
Jamal Crawford scored 25 points and point guard Chris Paul had 20 points and 12 assists, while Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 25 points and point guard Damian Lillard added 21 points and five assists.
Jazz 105 76ers 100: Backup guard Alec Burks scored 26 points, including nine in a row in the final two minutes, to lead the Utah Jazz to a victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.
Burks hit six-of-10 shots and 13-of-14 free throws for his game-high scoring night as the Jazz won their season-high third game in a row.
This is the first time Utah (19-33) won more than two consecutive games all season.
Small forward Evan Turner scored 21 points for the 76ers (15-39), who dropped their eighth straight game heading into the All-Star break.