NBA roundup: Suns coach Watson loses debut

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[February 03, 2016]  The Sports Xchange
 PHOENIX -- Toronto guard Kyle Lowry scored 26 points and guard DeMar DeRozan had 22 when the Raptors spoiled Phoenix interim coach Earl Watson's debut in a 104-97 victory over the Suns on Tuesday at Talking Stick Resort Arena.

Reserve guard Terrence Ross had 16 points and 7-foot center Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points for the Raptors (33-16), who have won 12 of their last 13. Forward Markieff Morris had a season-high 30 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns (14-36), who have lost five in a row, 11 of their last 12 and 20 of their last 22.

Suns rookie guard Devin Booker had 27 points and tied a career high with six 3-pointers.

First-year Suns assistant Watson was promoted to interim coach Monday, when the Suns fired Jeff Hornacek in what was to be the final year of his three-year contract.

Trail Blazers 107, Bucks 95

PORTLAND, Ore. -- CJ McCollum scored 30 points and Damian Lillard added 14 points and 12 assists as Portland stayed hot with a victory over Milwaukee at the Moda Center.

Al-Farouq Aminu chipped in 16 points for the Trail Blazers, who are 9-2 in their last 11 games.

Khris Middleton scored 21 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 19 points, eight rebounds and five assists and Greg Monroe had 17 points and eight boards for Milwaukee, which lost its fourth straight and sixth in seven games.

Rockets 115, Heat 102

HOUSTON -- James Harden recorded a double-double and steered the makeshift Houston Rockets to a win over Miami at Toyota Center.

Harden finished with game highs in points (26) and assists (14) while carrying the Rockets to victory. Houston snapped a three-game skid despite the absence of centers Dwight Howard (suspension) and Clint Capela (thigh). Despite being shorthanded, Harden had ample help.

Josh Smith filled the void in the middle and finished with a season-high 19 points. Enigmatic forward Terrence Jones added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench while reserve Marcus Thornton scored 18 points in 22 minutes, hitting 4 of 7 3-pointers.

Celtics 97, Knicks 89

NEW YORK -- Isaiah Thomas scored 20 points and distributed eight assists, but it was the contribution of Boston's bench that was the difference in the Celtics' 97-89 win over New York at Madison Square Garden.

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Reserve Tyler Zeller posted a season-high 16 points and 10 rebounds, backup Evan Turner contributed 14 points and 10 rebounds and Kelly Olynyk added 13 points. The Boston bench outscored New York's reserves 47-27.

Arron Afflalo led the Knicks (23-28) with 18 points, Robin Lopez added 17 points and 13 rebounds and Carmelo Anthony recorded 16 points and 14 rebounds for his third straight double-double and 14th of the season.

Lakers 119, Timberwolves 115

LOS ANGELES -- Kobe Bryant scored a season-high 38 points, and Los Angeles ended a 10-game skid with a victory over Minnesota at Staples Center.

Six foul shots by Bryant, who scored 14 of the last 18 points for Los Angeles, in the final 17 seconds sealed the win for the Lakers (10-41), who avoided setting a franchise mark for consecutive losses. They tied the 1993-94 Lakers, who lost their final 10 games of the season under coach Earvin "Magic" Johnson, in a 101-82 defeat by the Charlotte Hornets on Sunday.

Bryant hit 10 of 21 shots from the floor, including seven of 11 from 3-point range. Lou Williams scored 20 points, D'Angelo Russell added 18 and Jordan Clarkson finished with 16 for the Lakers. Julius Randle had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Los Angeles.

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