Eight straight for Clippers, Holmgren in seventh heaven

Kawhi Leonard and Paul George did Los Angeles' heavy lifting before James Harden took over to extend the Clippers' winning streak to an NBA-best eight games.

Harden scored 21 of his season-best 35 points in the fourth quarter and the Clippers got 28 points from Leonard and 27 from George to rout Indiana 151-127 on Tuesday (AEST) for their league-best eighth consecutive victory.

Harden shot 12-of-16 from the field and eight of 11 from deep, adding nine assists in his most efficient performance since being acquired from Philadelphia in October.

“It was fun to watch,” Leonard said of Harden's late flurry.

It was the Clippers' fourth-highest score in franchise history and fifth win by more than nine in their past six games, the side on its longest run since a 10-game stretch in 2015-16.

Oklahoma's Chet Holmgren  pushes past Grizzlies' Vince Williams Jr.
Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren (left) pushes past Memphis Grizzlies' Vince Williams.

There was a block party in Oklahoma as Australian Josh Giddey's teammate Chet Holmgren became the first rookie to record at least seven stops in back-to-back games since Tim Duncan in 1997-98.

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 30 points to power the Thunder's 116-97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies, who were playing their final game before the return of suspended star Ja Morant.

The 21-year-old Holmgren, who missed his entire draft year with a foot injury, finished with 17 points, seven blocks and six rebounds, while Giddey added 16 points and 12 rebounds

The Thunder (17-8) sit second in the Western Conference.

LeBron James (25 points, 11 assists, 11 rebounds) couldn't engineer a comeback, despite some tense final minutes in Los Angeles' 114-109 loss to New York.

They dropped to 15-12 this season, a third loss from four games since the Lakers clinched the inaugural In-Season championship.

Boomer Dante Exum's charmed run since joining the Dallas Mavericks' starting line-up hit a brick wall in the form of defending champions Denver.

Nikola Jokic (eight points, nine rebounds, seven assists) barely reached second gear as the host team's bench outscored the Mavericks' 62-34 and Jamal Murray had 22 points.

Luka Doncic scored 22 of his 38 points in the second quarter to keep Dallas close, while Exum was perfect from the field with 11 points.

Fellow Aussie Josh Green (elbow) remained on an inactive list that includes Kyrie Irving (heel), Max Kleber (toe) and Dereck Lively II (ankle). 

In Cleveland, Donovan Mitchell's 38 points ensured an 11th straight victory in overtime games, 135-130 over Houston.

Joel Embiid's 40-point, 14-rebound effort at home couldn't stop Chicago running down Philadelphia 108-104, while Anthony Edwards scored 32 points as Minnesota won 112-108 in Miami. 

Collin Sexton and Talen Horton-Tucker scored 27 points apiece to lead hosts Utah to a 125-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, who enjoyed much of the lead until late in the third quarter.

Sacramento took care of Washington, who moved to 4-22, while fellow strugglers Detroit's losing streak was extended to 24 by Atlanta. 

Trae Young's 31-point, 15-assist double-double were crucial in the Hawks' 130-124 win.

And the Toronto Raptors beat the Charlotte Hornets 114-99 after Hornets forward Miles Bridges was denied entry into Canada because of past legal problems and ruled out about an hour before tip-off.

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