In a season filled with injuries that have resulted in just as many ups and downs, the Houston Rockets have found help in unlikely places.
When point guard Chris Paul was injured, they got a boost by signing Austin Rivers following his release by the Suns. After the recent injury to center Clint Capela, Houston scooped up Kenneth Faried after he was released by the Nets.
Faried is proving another great fit, as in his third game with Houston he scored 21 points and had a season-high 14 rebounds Friday night to help the host Rockets to a 121-119 win over the Toronto Raptors.
“Kenneth brought the energy that we’ve been waiting on,” said Houston guard James Harden.
Harden scored 35 points for his 22nd straight game with 30 or more and the Rockets held off the Raptors’ late charge.
After averaging 52.2 points over his previous five games, capped by a franchise-record 61 in Wednesday’s win over the Knicks, Harden’s torrid pace slowed a bit as all Houston starters scored 10 points or more.
Nuggets 132, Suns 95: Paul Millsap scored 20 points and host Denver overcame Nikola Jokic’s one-game suspension to deal Phoenix its seventh straight loss. Jokic, the Nuggets’ leader in points, rebounds and assists, was banished for a night by the NBA for leaving the bench during an altercation in Utah two nights earlier.
Clippers 106, Bulls 101: Lou Williams had 31 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his first career triple-double to lead Los Angeles to a road win.
Kings 99, Grizzlies 96: Buddy Hield scored 26 points, De’Aaron Fox added 22, including two on a key 19-footer in the final minute, and Sacramento won in Memphis. Omri Casspi led the Grizzlies with 18 points.
Jazz 106, Timberwolves 102: Donovan Mitchell had 24 points and 11 assists and Rudy Gobert added 18 points and 16 rebounds for host Utah.
Mavericks 106, Pistons 101: Luka Doncic scored 32 points, Maxi Kleber hit a go-ahead 3-pointer after blocking a shot by Blake Griffin, and Dallas won on its home court.
Nets 109, Knicks 99: Theo Pinson, Ed Davis and Shabazz Napier carried a Brooklyn bench that dominated visiting New York in the Nets’ sixth straight victory. Pinson, on a two-way contract, scored 19 points.
Wizards 95, Magic 91: Jeff Green and Washington used its 3-point game to win in Orlando. Green shot 6-for-9 from 3-point range and finished with 24 points.
Heat 100, Cavaliers 94: Justise Winslow scored 27 points and Hassan Whiteside had 14 points and 13 rebounds to help Miami grab a win on the road.
Bucks 108, Hornets 99: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 34 points and 14 rebounds and NBA-leading Milwaukee rallied to win on its home court.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Kenneth-Faried-helps-Rockets-top-Raptors-13563448.php.