The Houston Rockets took on a team Monday night that was recently on a streak very similar to the one that Houston is on right now. The Rockets are the streaking team right now, as James Harden had 26 points and 11 rebounds to lift his team to their 13th straight win, 96-85, over the Utah Jazz. Luc Mbah a Moute added 17 points, including 15 in the fourth quarter, while the Rockets forced 22 turnovers from the Jazz in their 47th win of the year. That helped Houston keep pace with the Golden State Warriors, who beat the New York Knicks on Monday, The Rockets remain a half game ahead of the Warriors, and were able to overcome an early 15-point deficit in Utah. Chris Paul chipped in to that by scoring 15 points, while Mbah a Moute went a perfect 7-for-7 in the final 12 minutes. On the other side, the Jazz were led by Rudy Gobert's 17 points and Donovan Mitchell's 16, but finished just 7-for-29 as a team from three-point range. Houston's victory also gives them the four-game season sweep over the Jazz, as they won each game by double digits. They will move on with their win streak and visit the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday night. The Jazz are still a game over .500 and well within playoff striking distance and will host the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.
Duke Falls to Virginia Tech in Close Affair
The Duke Blue Devils suffered their second upset loss to an unranked opponent in the past couple weeks on Monday night, and this time, it was the Virginia Tech Hokies who got the best of them. Chris Clarke played the role of hero with a tip-in with four seconds remaining to lift his Hokies to a 64-63 win over the fifth-ranked Blue Devils on their home floor. That gave Virginia Tech their first lead since the opening minutes, as they added to a list of upsets they have pulled off this season. That list includes victories over No. 9 North Carolina and No. 18 Clemson. They were able to hold Duke without a field goal in the final seven minutes of the game, while forcing 18 turnovers on the night and turning them in to 24 points. The Hokies were led by Nickeil Alexander-Walker's 17 points, while Justin Bibbs chipped in 14 in their 10th conference win of the season. Duke did hold an early 15-point lead after opening with a 19-3 run early on. They also got 22 points from Grayson Allen, who missed a three-pointer as time expired to seal the upset loss. The Blue Devils move on to a huge rivalry showdown with North Carolina on Saturday, while Virginia Tech moves on to visit Miami that same day.
Lightning, Golden Knights Add at Deadline
The NHL Trade Deadline came and went, and it seemed as if the top two teams in the NHL added to their team more than most others. That included the Tampa Bay Lightning, who landed Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller from the New York Rangers for Vladimir Namestnikov, two prospects, and two draft picks. Those picks include a 2018 first-round pick and a conditional second-rounder in 2019. Namestnikov will be an unrestricted free agent this off-season, The deal was agreed upon just before the 3:00pm deadline, with both players acquired by Tampa Bay being under contract past this season. The 28-year-old McDonagh is under contract through next season, as the defenseman has two goals and 24 assists this year. The 24-year-old Miller is a restricted free agent after this season. He has totaled 13 goals and 27 assists in 63 games this season, and topped the 20-goal mark each of the past two seasons. The Golden Knights added a goal-scorer of their own when they acquired Tomas Tatar from the Detroit Red Wings for three draft picks, which are a 2018 first-round pick, a 2019 second-round pick, and a 2021 third-round pick. Tatar has recorded 16 goals and 12 assists and is under contract for three more seasons after this year. The Golden Knights lead the Western Conference with 85 points. The Lightning are likewise in the Eastern Conference with 89 points, which leads the entire NHL.