Kurt Helin

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook (0) drives against Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the second quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Friday, Jan. 29, 2016. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Associated Press

Westbrook’s triple-double leads Thunder past Rockets 116-108

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Russell Westbrook‘s sixth triple-double of the season helped the Thunder defeat the Houston Rockets 116-108 on Friday night.

Westbrook finished with 26 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds. It was the 25th triple-double of his career.

Kevin Durant had 33 points and 12 rebounds and Enes Kanter scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half for the Thunder, who have won 10 of 11 overall and six straight at home.

James Harden had 33 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Corey Brewer added 17 points for the Rockets. Houston shot 38 percent overall and made just 9 of 39 3-pointers and 27 of 43 free throws.

Houston’s Dwight Howard was ejected in the third quarter after picking up his second technical foul, and Kanter scored all 20 of his second-half points after that.

The Rockets led 58-55 at halftime. They led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, but Howard made just 2 of 9 free throws in the period to help the Thunder creep back into the game.

Howard was ejected with 7:06 left in the third quarter. The Thunder finally took the lead on a putback by Kanter, and a dunk by Durant on an assist from Westbrook put Oklahoma City ahead 80-76. The Thunder led 89-83 at the end of the third quarter.

Westbrook got his triple-double on an assist to Kyle Singler, who scored and was fouled. Singler’s free throw put Oklahoma City ahead 101-92.

NOT FREE

Howard missed 11 free throws in the game, despite leaving early. DeAndre Jordan of the Los Angeles Clippers and Andre Drummond of the Detroit Pistons are the only players in the league to have missed more than 11 free throws in any game this season. Drummond has done it three times and Jordan twice.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden, a former Thunder player, was booed loudly during pregame introductions. … Howard’s first technical came after he put Singler in a headlock during a battle for a rebound in the second quarter. … Howard finished with eight points and eight rebounds in 21 minutes.

Thunder: Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel was in the crowd. He is from Tulsa, Oklahoma. … Cameron Payne (concussion) and Andre Roberson (right knee sprain) did not play. … Dion Waiters, who started in Roberson’s place, got a technical in the final seconds of the third quarter. … Oklahoma City scored at least 100 points for the seventh straight game. … Steven Adams and Kanter each had 10 rebounds.

 

Carmelo Anthony returns and Knicks hand Suns 13th straight road loss

New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots in front of Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 29, 2016, in New York. The Knicks won 102-84. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony had 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his return from a two-game absence, and the New York Knicks snapped a four-game losing streak with a 102-84 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.

Kristaps Porzingis also rejoined the lineup with seven points and seven rebounds, and the Knicks sent the Suns to their 13th straight road loss.

Anthony had sat out with soreness in his surgically repaired left knee, and Porzingis missed his first game of the season Thursday with an upper respiratory illness. Having them back helped Arron Afflalo, who scored 12 of his 17 points in helping the Knicks open a big first-quarter lead that was never really threatened.

Rookie Devin Booker scored 21 points for the Suns, who fell to 4-21 on the road. Their last road victory was Dec. 7 in Chicago.

It was over early, with the Knicks racing to an 18-point lead in the first quarter and taking a 58-40 advantage into halftime when Sasha Vujacic beat the buzzer with a 3-pointer. New York went ahead by 26 in the third and Anthony sat out the final period.

TIP-INS

Suns: F Jon Leuer returned after missing five games with lower back spasms. He was scoreless in 12 minutes. … After Sunday’s game in Dallas, the Suns won’t have to worry about their road woes for a while. They begin a seven-game homestand Tuesday against Toronto and won’t be back on the road until Feb. 22 at the Clippers. It’s the second longest homestand in franchise history.

Knicks: Starting point guard Jose Calderon missed his second straight game with a sore right groin. Langston Galloway started and scored 11 points. … The Knicks snapped a three-game losing streak against the Suns and regained the series lead at 61-60. The Suns haven’t led the rivalry since winning the first meeting on Oct. 24, 1968.

10-DAY DEALS

Both teams signed players from the NBA Development League to 10-day contracts on Friday. The Knicks called up Thanasis Antetokounmpo, whose brother Giannis plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, from Westchester. Phoenix signed Jordan McRae, who set a D-League record by scoring 61 points for Delaware against Canton on Tuesday night. Antetokounmpo made his NBA debut in the final minutes and made his lone shot, while McRae scored 12 points.

 

Suns sign high-scoring D-League player Jordan McRae

DES MOINES, IA - JANUARY 23: Jordan McRae #4 of the Delaware 87ers drives along the baseline against the Iowa Energy in an NBA D-League game on January 23, 2016 at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photo by Jason Bradwell/NBAE via Getty Images)
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PHOENIX (AP) — The Phoenix Suns have signed high-scoring NBA Development League player Jordan McRae to a 10-day contract.

McRae set a D-League record by scoring 61 points for the Delaware 87ers in a 130-123 overtime victory over the Canton Charge on Tuesday night. He made 21 of 34 shots and 16 of 18 free throws.

The 6-foot-5 guard is third in the D-League in scoring at 23 points per game. A second-round draft pick by San Antonio in 2014 out of Tennessee, he was traded to Philadelphia on draft night. He played professionally in Australia in 2014-15 before joining Delaware for the final 13 games of that D-League season.

McRae was with the 76ers in the preseason but was waived by the team on Oct. 26.

Carmelo Anthony, Kristaps Porzingis back in Knicks’ lineup; Calderon out

New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis (6) gets a high five from forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Hornets, Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, in New York.  The Knicks won 102-94. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)
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NEW YORK (AP) — Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis are back in the lineup for the New York Knicks in their game Friday night against Phoenix.

Jose Calderon remains out with a groin injury, so Langston Galloway will start in his place.

Anthony has missed two straight games with a sore left knee, and Porzingis joined him on the sidelines Thursday in a loss at Toronto because of an upper respiratory illness.

Coach Derek Fisher says he doesn’t believe Porzingis is 100 percent and expects the rookie’s energy to be below normal but says he feels well enough to play.

J.J. Redick gets flopping warning for wide-open jumper

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Do You want to know why players still flop? Two reasons. Both evident in this case involving J.J. Redick.

First off, he was the offensive player, and he flopped on a wide-open jumper — and it worked. Kent Bazemore got called for the shooting foul, and he was three feet away. Players flop because officials fall for it. Sometimes you can understand how an official misses a call, if two guys are bumping into each other in real time, it can be difficult to pick out the flop. In this case, it was obvious. But Redick got the call anyway.

Second, there is no real punishment.

The league announced Friday that Redick officially has been warned about flopping for this incident. If he does it again this season, he gets a $5,000 fine. Redick is making $6.9 million this season. So that $5,000 fine is not exactly a deterrent. Certainly not more than the embarrassment of that shot.