Boston, November 15: The Toronto Raptors snapped the Houston Rockets' six-game winning streak in the NBA, while the Boston Celtics claimed another victory.
With the 129-113 loss on Tuesday (November 14), Houston (11-4) drop a half-game behind Golden State (11-3) for first place in the Western Conference.
The Rockets looked well on their way to erasing a 20-point deficit and preserving their streak, closing Toronto's lead to 108-103 with about seven minutes left in the fourth quarter. But the Raptors outscored Houston 21-10 the rest of the way.
Toronto overcame a 38-point effort from James Harden, who made just eight of 25 field goal attempts but was a perfect 19 for 19 from the free-throw line.
DeMar DeRozan, who credited the Raptors’ defense for fuelling the win despite the team's gaudy point total, led a balanced Toronto offense with 27 points.
DeRozan was one of six Raptors in double figures, a group that also included Kyle Lowry and C.J. Miles with 19 points apiece and rookie OG Anunoby with a career high 16.
MASKED KYRIE STARS
A masked Kyrie Irving returned from a one-game absence with a facial fracture to lead the Celtics to their 109-102 win at Brooklyn, finishing with 25 points and five assists. Irving gave his jersey and shoes to two servicewomen sitting courtside at Barclays Center.
Dallas guard Yogi Ferrell missed all five of his shot attempts, was held scoreless and turned the ball over three times in the Mavericks' 97-91 loss at home to the Spurs.
In a play that took another piece of Nets fans' souls, the Celtics' Jaylen Brown connected with Jayson Tatum for a slam dunk on a fast break started by Irving.
Why must it have stung so badly in Brooklyn?
Boston selected Brown and Tatum in the two most recent NBA drafts with picks acquired from the Nets in the 2013 trade that sent Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Jason Terry to the Nets.
Boston Celtics 109-102 Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors 129-113 Houston Rockets
San Antonio Spurs 97-91 Dallas Mavericks
PISTONS AT BUCKS
The Pistons (10-3), winners of five straight and eight of their last nine, visit the Bucks (7-6), who have won all three of their games since Eric Bledsoe joined MVP favourite Giannis Antetokounmpo in Milwaukee.