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Rockets beat Pelicans, win streak at 10

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)

HOUSTON (AP) In a season where the Houston Rockets have become one of the league's best teams, scoring a career-high in points like Clint Capela did on Monday night doesn't get congratulations. It draws comments on how he needs to play like he did over the New Orleans Pelicans more often.

Capela scored 28 points and James Harden scored 12 straight points for Houston in the fourth quarter as the Rockets rallied for the 130-123 victory over the Pelicans to extend their winning streak to 10 games.

"We're going to need nights like that from Clint to be consistent and be a beast like he did, blocking shots, dunking the basketball," Harden said. "And to close the game out he did a really, really good job. So progress, he's got to get better, but tonight was a good step for him."

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Spurs' Leonard set to make debut Tuesday

DALLAS (AP) San Antonio's Kawhi Leonard is expected to make his season debut Tuesday when the Spurs visit Dallas.

Leonard has missed all 27 of the Spurs' games this season while recovering from right quadriceps tendinopathy, a condition that causes pain and weakness in the knee.

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Bulls blow out Celtics as Irving sits

CHICAGO (AP) Nikola Mirotic and Bobby Portis are starting to draw attention for their play together instead of their fight with each other.

Mirotic scored 24 points, Portis added a career-high 23 and the Chicago Bulls blew out Boston 108-85 on Monday night with Celtics star Kyrie Irving sidelined because of a bruised left quadriceps.

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Short-handed Warriors top Blazers, run 7

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Golden State returned from a dominant road trip that might help shape its season and showed once more how important depth is to its success.

Kevin Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots, leading the short-handed Warriors past the sluggish Portland Trail Blazers 111-104 on Monday night.

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Clippers end Raptors' win streak at 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) With Blake Griffin, Patrick Beverley and Danilo Gallinari sidelined by injuries, playing hard has to be the Los Angeles Clippers' calling card.

Montrezl Harrell scored 17 points and the Clippers rallied over the final 3:21 to beat Toronto 96-91 on Monday night, snapping the Raptors' six-game winning streak.

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Heat send Grizzlies to 15th loss in 16

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Goran Dragic and the Miami Heat got into a groove in the second half.

Big time.

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Howard's 23 points lift Hornets past OKC

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Charlotte Hornets finally won a road game. In a tough spot, too.

Dwight Howard scored 23 points to help the Charlotte Hornets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 116-103 on Monday night. It was Charlotte's first victory on the road since Oct. 30 at Memphis.

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Cavs' Thompson set to return vs. Hawks

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) Tristan Thompson's role may have changed. Not his drive.

Sidelined since Nov. 1 with a calf injury he said was much more serious than a strain, Thompson could play Tuesday night when the Cleveland Cavaliers host the Atlanta Hawks. Thompson practiced Monday, and as long as he recovers as expected, the Cavs will have their most tenacious rebounder and one of their best defenders back on the floor - but not as a starter.

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Okafor excited for fresh start with Nets

NEW YORK (AP) Jahlil Okafor finally got the fresh start he wanted.

Okafor was the consensus No. 1 high school player in his class, won a national championship at Duke, and averaged 17.5 points and seven rebounds in his rookie campaign for the Philadelphia 76ers.

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Barnes retires after title with Warriors

LOS ANGELES (AP) Matt Barnes is retiring from the NBA after playing for nine teams over 14 years and winning a championship with Golden State last season.

The 37-year-old small forward hasn't played this season. He posted his retirement announcement on Instagram on Monday.

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