The Houston Rockets were able to take advantage of the Minnesota Timberwolves going down a star on Friday night, winning their 11th straight game, 120-102. The Timberwolves lost Jimmy Butler in the second quarter to an apparent right leg injury. He was helped off the floor and could not put any pressure on that leg. There is no official timetable for his return, as it has since been labeled a meniscus injury. He hopes to be back for the playoffs. On Friday, James Harden had 31 points for Houston, who also got 25 points and 11 rebounds from Clint Capela, as he now has 10 double-doubles in the past 13 games. Chris Paul had a typical game for himself with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and eight assists, helping his team overcome an early deficit and hang on to the best record in the NBA. Andrew Wiggins took over for the Butler-less Timberwolves with 21 points, while Karl-Anthony Towns had 18 points and 13 rebounds on the night. They will play host to Butler's former team, the Chicago Bulls, on Saturday night. The Rockets will put their win streak on the line on Sunday against the Nuggets in Denver.
Bucks Take Down Raptors in Overtime
The Milwaukee Bucks have spent all season trying to prove that they can compete in the Eastern Conference, and they took a big step in that process on Friday. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 12 rebounds, as the Bucks took down the Toronto Raptors, 122-119, in overtime. The Bucks' upset victory snaps the Raptors' seven-game win streak, as Milwaukee hit half of their three-point shots. Conversely, the Raptors shot just 26 percent from beyond the arc. Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton chipped in 21 points apiece, as the Bucks get ready for eight straight games against teams in playoff contention. DeMar DeRozan had 33 points in the loss for the Raptors, who had won five straight home games against the Bucks, and won 15 of the past 17 meetings. That includes eliminating the Bucks in the first round of last season's playoffs, but they will not play again in the regular season. The one bright spot for Toronto was Jonas Valanciunas' buzzer-beating dunk to send the game in to overtime. The Raptors are an NBA-best 24-5 on their home floor, as they hadn't lost at home since January 26th against the Utah Jazz. They will be off until Monday night against the Detroit Pistons. The Bucks return home on Sunday to host the New Orleans Pelicans.
Davis Powers Pelicans in Overtime Against Heat
Those New Orleans Pelicans were involved in a similar overtime showdown on Friday night, but Anthony Davis took over to ensure a win for his team. Davis finished with 45 points, 17 rebounds, five blocked shots, and five steals in a 124-123 overtime win over the Miami Heat. The win for New Orleans is their fourth in a row, as they hang on to the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. During that win streak, Davis has not scored fewer than 38 points, and has reached at least 42 points three times. The Utah Jazz fall two games behind the Pelicans, as their 12-game win streak came to an end against the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Goran Dragic scored 30 points to lead Miami in the loss, as they could not hang on to two separate leads in the final minute of overtime. Dwayne Wade hit two baskets in the final 36 seconds, but both Davis and Jrue Holiday were able to retaliate for New Orleans. Holiday finished with 29 points and eight assists for the Pelicans, who will battle the Bucks in Milwaukee on Sunday. The Heat also hold the final playoff spot, that of the Eastern Conference, as they hold a two-game lead on the Detroit Pistons. They will play host to the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday.