Houston Rockets NBA title contenders after rolling Indiana Pacers

Rockets 112, Pacers 86

The Houston Rockets confirmed their status as championship contenders with a comprehensive drubbing of the Indiana Pacers.

Houston guard James Harden scored 16 of his 28 points during a 33-6 blitz in the third quarter at the Rockets (43-19) improved to 14-0 against the Eastern Conference at home this season.

Raptors 99, Kings 87

Guard Terrence Ross showed no ill effects from a sprained left ankle that sidelined him from last Sunday's game, leading the Toronto Raptors to a comfortable win over the Sacramento Kings.

Rudy Gay, in his first game in Toronto since his trade to the Kings in early December, was booed relentlessly as Toronto (34-26) improved to 27-14 since the trade.

Bobcats 101, Cavaliers 92

Center Al Jefferson scored 28 points as the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Jefferson hit eight of his first nine shots from the field as Cleveland succumbed to their third successive loss.

Grizzlies 85, Bulls 77

Center Marc Gasol scored 18 points and the Memphis Grizzlies defense dominated down the stretch for victory over the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls managed just two points over the final 5:54, making one of nine shots from the field.

Knicks 108, Jazz 81

The New York Knicks enjoyed a one-sided romp against the toothless Utah Jazz with forward Carmelo Anthony scoring 29 points and a season-high eight assists.

It was the seventh win by over 20 points this season for the Knicks (23-40), while Utah dropped their fifth successive game.

Celtics 91, Nets 84

The Boston Celtics had 28 turnovers but still beat a poor-shooting Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets turned the ball over just 14 times, but shot 36 percent from the floor, and were 4-of-30 from three-point range.

Pelicans 112, Bucks 104

Forward Anthony Davis scored a game-high 29 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lift the New Orleans Pelicans to victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The Pelicans (25-37) led by as many as 10 points in the fourth quarter before Milwaukee cut it to 104-99 with 1:17 left, but the Bucks could not get any closer as they fell to 12-49, the worst record in the league.

Timberwolves 114, Pistons 101

The Minnesota Timberwolves cruised to their seventh win in nine games as they dispatched the Detroit Pistons.

Forward Kevin Love had 28 points and 14 rebounds and guard Kevin Martin added 24 points for the Wolves (31-30), who used a big first-quarter run to take control of the game.

Mavericks 103, Trail Blazers 98

The Dallas Mavericks surrendered a 30-point lead before making a late charge to beat the Portland Trail Blazers.

Dallas led 44-14 early in the second quarter, only to fall six points behind with 4:26 left in the game.

Had Portland won, it would have been the biggest comeback in an NBA game in more than four years.

Nuggets 134, Lakers 126

Forward Kenneth Faried scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Denver Nuggets beat the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.

All five starters for the Nuggets scored in double figures in their second straight win.

Warriors 111, Hawks 97

Reserve guard Steve Blake opened the fourth quarter with a three-pointer and the Golden State Warriors held the Atlanta Hawks scoreless for the first 6:52 of the period en route to a runaway home victory.

The win was Golden State's eighth in 10 games since the All-Star break as they improved to 39-24 for the season.

The Sports Xchange

This story Houston Rockets NBA title contenders after rolling Indiana Pacers first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.