Houston Rockets nab 3-point record in rout of Washington

LOS ANGELES, USA – The Houston Rockets set an NBA single-game record with 26 three-pointers on Wednesday, December 19, in a 136-118 rout of the Washington Wizards.

The crowd at Houston's Toyota Center was chanting "One more three! One more three!" when Michael Carter-Williams drained the record-breaker from beyond the arc with 31.1 seconds remaining and victory assured.

Gary Clark's three-pointer with 2:42 to play had tied the previous mark of 25 set by the Cleveland Cavaliers against Atlanta in March 2017.

Reigning NBA Most Valuable Player James Harden had 6 three-pointers on the way to 35 points. Chris Paul added 5 from beyond the arc and Gerald Green and Eric Gordon made 4 apiece as the Rockets – who endured a rough start to the season – got back to their free-wheeling ways in a fifth straight victory.

The @HoustonRockets set a new #NBA record with 26 three-pointers made and beat WAS for their 5th win in a row! #Rockets 136 #DCFamily 118 James Harden: 35 PTS, 9 AST, 6 3PM Chris Paul: 21 PTS, 8 AST, 5 3PM Clint Capela: 20 PTS, 12 REB pic.twitter.com/x2BJEVSdL2 — NBA (@NBA) December 20, 2018 

"We're just playing better," Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni said. "When you have the right spirit, you're doing the right things, hustling, stuff falls in. If you don't, you don't make them.

"Our energy is right the last 5 games. We've just got to keep it there."

Things were a lot tighter in Toronto, where Fred VanVleet drained the go-ahead three-pointer with 26.4 seconds left as the Raptors erased a 17-point second-half deficit to improve their NBA-leading record with a 99-96 victory over the Indiana Pacers.

Kawhi Leonard scored 28 points and Pascal Siakam added 17 for the Raptors, who had lost two straight but avoided a second three-game losing streak this season.

VanVleet scored nine of his 11 points in the final quarter as the Raptors again overcame the absence of point guard Kyle Lowry, who missed his third straight game with a left thigh injury.

Down by 17 with less than 6 minutes left in the third period, the Raptors trailed by 13 early in the fourth.

Siakam knotted the score at 92-92 with a layup with 4:12 remaining. Victor Oladipo's jump shot put the Pacers in front again with 1:36 to go, but VanVleet's three pointer put Toronto up 97-96.

Green then forced a jump ball in the waning seconds, finally clinching the win with two free throws.

"To be honest, I was really disappointed with how we were playing," Toronto coach Nick Nurse admitted. "In the end we finally started guarding. We told them to stay with it ... keep eating into them and hang in there and we might be able to pull it out."

 

Suns shining 

The Phoenix Suns' surge continued with a 111-103 victory over the Celtics in Boston.

Devin Booker scored 25 points with 8 assists, a steal and two blocked shots for Phoenix. Rookie Deandre Ayton added 23 points and 18 rebounds for the Suns, who are last in the West but have now won four straight.

In Orlando, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 20 points to lead 5 San Antonio players in double figures in the Spurs' 129-90 victory over the Magic.

San Antonio connected on 12 of 19 shots from three-point range as they notched their sixth win in 7 games.

San Antonio led 104-77 through 3 quarters, and the Magic, playing without leading scorer and rebounder Nikola Vucevic, never got a look in.

Vucevic missed the game to be with his wife and baby son, who was born on Monday, December 17.

In Philadelphia, Ben Simmons' triple-double of 13 points, 10 assists and 11 rebounds helped the 76ers to a much-needed 131-109 victory over the New York Knicks.

The Sixers, who had lost 3 of their last 4, converted 15 of 30 three-point attempts in a convincing victory.

Joel Embiid led Philadelphia with 24 points and also pulled down 10 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season, while four-time All-Star Jimmy Butler added 20 points with 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. – Rappler.com