Rockets win after sacking coach and Parker helps Spurs make it six straight
James Harden starred as the Houston Rockets edged the Portland Trail Blazers 108-103 in overtime after coach Kevin McHale was sacked earlier on Wednesday.
McHale – in his fifth season in Houston and coming off a Western Conference finals appearance – was relieved of his duties just hours prior to the Rockets’ hosting of the Trail Blazers.
And the post-McHale era opened with a win, Harden’s 45 points leading the Rockets past the Trail Blazers in overtime in Houston.
Harden, who also tallied 11 assists, scored all nine of Houston’s points in the additional period after Corey Brewer’s three-pointer with 0.9 seconds remaining forced OT.
The Trail Blazers were led by Damian Lillard’s 23 points.
In San Antonio, the Spurs claimed their sixth consecutive win courtesy of a 109-98 victory against the Denver Nuggets.
Tony Parker had a season-high 25 points for the Spurs, who never trailed at home to the Nuggets.
Kawhi Leonard contributed 20 points, Tim Duncan added 12 of his own, while Patty Mills made three of six three-pointers as he scored 17.
Nuggets rookie Nikola Jokic posted 23 points and 12 rebounds in a double-double display.
Elsewhere, Russell Westbrook’s 43 points guided the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 110-103 win at home to the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Atlanta Hawks were 103-97 winners against the Sacramento Kings, the Dallas Mavericks overturned an 18-point deficit to beat the Boston Celtics 106-102 and the Charlotte Hornets downed the Brooklyn Nets 116-111.
Evan Fournier’s three-pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in overtime helped the Orlando Magic past the Minnesota Timberwolves 104-101.
The winless Philadelphia 76ers lost 112-85 to the Indiana Pacers, the Utah Jazz upstaged the Toronto Raptors 93-89, while the Chicago Bulls accounted for the Phoenix Suns 103-97.