HOUSTON — James Harden matched his career high with 61 points, including 27 in the first quarter, to lead the Houston Rockets to a 111-105 victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night.

Harden hit three straight 3-pointers to give the Rockets a 103-100 lead and scored all of Houston’s points in a 13-2 run late in the fourth quarter.

Harden topped the 50-point mark for the eighth time this season, compared with 10 such performances from the rest of the league combined.

He matched his career-best total set earlier this season against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

The NBA’s leading scorer surpassed the 30-point mark in the second quarter and the 40-point mark with 9 minutes remaining in the third.

NUGGETS 111, KNICKS 93: Nikola Jokic had 21 points and 17 rebounds, Jamal Murray scored 18 points, and visiting Denver won its sixth straight.

Gary Harris chipped in 14 points for Denver, which moved into a tie with defending champion Golden State for first place in the Western Conference with 11 games remaining for each team.

MAGIC 123, GRIZZLIES 119: Terrence Ross scored 31 points and Evan Fournier had 27, including the clinching free throws, and host Orlando rallied to beat Memphis in overtime.

Nikola Vucevic added 25 points for the Magic, who came from 14 points behind in the fourth quarter to tie it in regulation and go on to win their fourth straight.

THUNDER 116, RAPTORS 109: Paul George scored 28 points, Russell Westbrook had 18 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds, and Oklahoma City won at Toronto.

Dennis Schroder came off the bench to score 26 points and Jerami Grant had 19 as the Thunder snapped a four-game losing streak and avenged Wednesday’s 123-114 home defeat to Toronto.

CLIPPERS 110, CAVALIERS 108: Danilo Gallinari scored 27 points and visiting Los Angeles continued its torrid March.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 16 points for the Clippers, who are 9-1 this month and closing in on a playoff spot in the Western Conference.


SUNS: Forward Kelly Oubre Jr. is out for the remainder of the season following surgery on his left thumb.

The recovery time is expected to be four to six weeks.

The Suns signed Jimmer Fredette for the rest of the season with a team option for 2019-20.