Nets lose Harden but beat Rockets, move into first in East
Houston Rockets' Kevin Porter Jr. (3) and Jae'Sean Tate (8) defend against Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK – Kyrie Irving had 31 points and a season-high 12 assists, and the Brooklyn Nets overcame the loss of James Harden to beat the Houston Rockets 120-108 on Wednesday night and move into first place in the Eastern Conference. Harden sat out the fourth quarter against his former team with right hamstring tightness, finishing with 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists. The Rockets jumped to a 24-6 lead, with an 8-for-9 start that included makes on all five 3-point attempts. The Rockets listed the injury as a left knee effusion and it's unknown whether it will keep him out longer.