NBA: James Harden shines as Brooklyn Nets win at Houston Rockets

James Harden scored a lay up
James Harden has been in superb form since joining Brooklyn Nets in January

James Harden returned to former team the Houston Rockets and put on a stellar display to help the high-flying Brooklyn Nets to a 132-114 victory.

Harden, who left Houston in January, served up 29 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds to complete his eighth triple-double of the season.

"Once I get on that court, it's just trying to win," said Harden.

"I wasn't trying to show off, wasn't trying to do anything out of the ordinary that I hadn't been doing."

Harden's contribution helped earn the Nets a 10th win in 11 outings and leaves them second in the Eastern Conference behind the Philadelphia 76ers.

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 19 rebounds to carry the 76ers past the Utah Jazz 131-123 in overtime on Wednesday - his fifth 40-point haul of the season.

"We're playing good basketball. But there's a great team in us," said 76ers coach Doc Rivers after his players beat the team top of the standings in the Western Conference.

The Los Angeles Lakers - without the injured Anthony Davis and LeBron James - lost 123-120 to the Sacramento Kings, a the seventh loss in 10 matches.

Buddy Hield registered 29 points for the Kings, who moved 12th in the Western Conference, eight places below the Lakers.

'Not a snowball's chance'

Zach LaVine
Zach LaVine was on fine form as the Chicago Bulls earned a win

Elsewhere the Minnesota Timberwolves remain bottom of the Western standings after losing for the ninth game in a row. Terry Rozier's 31 points inspired the Charlotte Hornets to a comprehensive 135-102 win.

Kristaps Porzingis and Tim Hardaway Jr stepped up for the Dallas Mavericks in the absence of the injured Luka Doncic by netting 19 points each in a low-scoring 87-78 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Zach LaVine scored 36 points as the visiting Chicago Bulls held off a New Orleans Pelicans fourth-quarter comeback in a 128-124 victory.

"There's a lot of things we have to do better," said Bulls coach Billy Donovan after the Pelicans' late rally. "This group, as young as they are, need to learn how to close games better than that. There are certainly things we can clean up and do better."

Trae Young scored 32 points and made two winning free throws with eight seconds remaining to give the visiting Atlanta Hawks a 115-112 win over the Orlando Magic.

Damian Lillard's 29-foot three-pointer with 14 seconds remaining helped the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Golden State Warriors 108-106, while an injury-hit Detroit Pistons ended a three-game losing streak with a 129-105 win over the Toronto Raptors.

Mason Plumlee had 14 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists and Dennis Smith Jr had 10 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists - only the second time in team history that two players recorded triple-doubles in a single game.

"That was really special. It was an excellent team win," said Pistons coach Dwane Casey. "I didn't think we had a snowball's chance with all our guys out."

Elsewhere, TJ McConnell set an NBA record with nine steals in the first half as the Indiana Pacers won 114-111 at the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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