Basketball

Paul, Harden fire as Rockets roll to sweet 16th

Chris Paul scored 25 points as the Houston Rockets overpowered Russell Westbrook's Oklahoma City Thunder to tighten their grip on the Western Conference with a 16th straight victory yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Paul produced a scintillating display of shooting which included five three-pointers to help the Rockets rack up their 50th win of the season, a 122-112 victory.

Houston lead the West at 50-13, one game ahead of the Golden State Warriors who defeated the Brooklyn Nets 114-101.

The Thunder, meanwhile, remain firmly in the battle for one of the lower-seeded play-off spots, lying seventh at 37-29.

Against the Rockets, the talismanic figure of Westbrook once again led the way for the Thunder with 32 points while Carmelo Anthony finished with 23.

Paul George had 17 points while New Zealand's Steven Adams chipped in with 16.

Houston's greater depth in offence, however, was to prove decisive, with seven players cracking double digits.

MVP hopeful James Harden was happy to take a backseat to Paul, but still managed to come up with 23 points, 11 assists and five rebounds. - AFP

SELECTED RESULTS: Golden State 114 Brooklyn 101, Portland 111 NY Knicks 87, Clippers 116 New Orleans 121

Basketball