LOS ANGELES -- When the nets finally cooled down at Staples Center, the Houston Rockets had a choice. Robert Alford Jersey . They could be excited about their highest-scoring game of the year, or dismayed at their worst defensive effort in more than five months. James Harden and the Rockets chose to draw motivation from both sources for their playoff push after a prolific night against the Los Angeles Lakers. Terrence Jones and Harden scored 33 points apiece, and the Rockets beat the Lakers 145-130 on Tuesday night for their third straight victory. Chandler Parsons scored 19 points for the Rockets, who used a 49-point third quarter to solidify their hold on fourth place in the Western Conference standings despite their second-worst defensive performance of the year. Still, Houston won the opener of a three-game road trip without injured Dwight Howard and Patrick Beverley, scoring with stunning ease against the Lakers laughable defence. "We had it going," said Harden, who had 12 assists and hit three 3-pointers. "We still gave up too many points, more than we wanted to, but we still got it going. Tonight was a tough game, a weird game." Jones scored 23 points during a dominant first half, while Harden contributed 18 points during an overwhelming third quarter for the Rockets, who made 18 of their 24 shots and hit seven 3-pointers to go ahead 115-90. Jones, who limped off the court with cramps, and Harden both sat out the fourth quarter of the Rockets third win over the Lakers this season. Rookie Isaiah Canaan matched his career high with 15 points for Houston (52-25), which leads Portland by 2 1/2 games with a game in hand for fourth place in the West. "When you go up like that, its hard to stay locked in (defensively)," Parsons said. "But we can do a better job of that. Weve just got to keep going and lock up homecourt advantage and get ready for the playoffs." Steve Nash moved into third place on the NBAs career assists list for the miserable Lakers (25-53), who tied the franchise record for losses in a single season with their worst defensive performance of the year. Afterward, Nash said his season might be over after playing through another twinge of pain in his troublesome hamstrings. "I just wanted to hang on and get this over with," the two-time NBA MVP said. "All of this is beyond my aspirations and wildest dreams. To be in that company is phenomenal." After matching the 1957-58 Minneapolis Lakers 53 losses in a 72-game season, coach Mike DAntonis injury-riddled team will finish with the clubs most losses since moving to Los Angeles in 1960. Nick Young scored 32 points and Jodie Meeks added 30 for the Lakers, who have lost five straight. Jordan Farmar had 15 points and eight assists in his return from a 10-game injury absence with a strained groin for the Lakers, who allowed 143 points by Minnesota 11 days ago. "We talk about schemes and different ways to play things, but it just seems like guys on other teams score too easily," Farmar said. "It just comes down to heart. It comes down to pride. Guys have to want it." Howard, nursing a sprained left ankle, didnt play in the Rockets second visit to the Lakers home court since he spurned the 16-time NBA champions as a free agent last summer for less money in Houston. The fans still booed and shouted "Coward!" at Howard, who came out to the Rockets bench late in the first quarter wearing bright pink pants. The home crowd gave a standing ovation to Nash when he passed Mark Jackson late in the first half with a long outlet pass to Meeks for his 10,335th career assist. The 40-year-old Nash, who is expected to return to the Lakers next season, trails only assists leader John Stockton (15,806) and Jason Kidd (12,091) in league history. Nash finished with three points and five assists in 13 minutes, sitting out the second half in just his 15th game of the season. The Lakers were down to just nine healthy players for their latest loss, playing without injured Pau Gasol, Chris Kaman, Xavier Henry and Kent Bazemore. Nash, Farmar and Young played through injury problems to suit up. Nash catalyzed a 22-8 run in the second quarter by the Lakers, who briefly took the lead before Houston went into halftime up 66-61. The Rockets made a 28-6 run in the opening minutes of the third quarter. NOTES: Late in the fourth quarter, the Lakers announced general manager Mitch Kupchak has agreed to a multiyear contract extension. The clubs longtime personnel boss had one year left on his contract. ... The Clippers scored 137 points against Houston in the fourth game of the season. ... Welterweight champion Timothy Bradley Jr. was at Staples Center to promote his rematch with Manny Pacquiao on Saturday in Las Vegas. Andy Garcia, Jason Biggs, Jenny Mollen and Robbie Keane watched at courtside. De Vondre Campbell Jersey .  "For the past several weeks, Logan has been dealing and playing with an upper body injury," said general manager Doug Wilson in a statement. "Despite his efforts to play through it, the injury has not responded as we had hoped and Logan has made the decision to undergo a surgical procedure to repair the problem. Matt Schaub Jersey . - The first sign that Kansas Speedway was going to be a heartbreaker for Hendrick Motorsports should have come during qualifying when Jimmie Johnson inexplicably spun and earned one of his worst starting spots since 2005.ST. LOUIS -- Allen Craig is starting to feel comfortable and the St. Louis Cardinals are hoping that continues for a long time. Craig, batting cleanup, had three hits, drove in a run and scored twice and Lance Lynn allowed two runs over seven innings to lead the Cardinals to a 5-2 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday night. After batting.315 with 97 RBIs in 134 games in 2013, Craig has struggled to find his stroke. He was hitting .192 on April 29, but his average has risen slowly but steadily since. He was up to .231 after Fridays game. Craig said he is feeling better and better at the plate, even if the results have not been readily apparent. "Guys know when theyre feeling good in the box," Craig said. "The results may not be there, but you can still feel good and feel like good things are going to happen. Its just a matter of time and being patient. I feel like Im at that point." Nevertheless, Craig was happy with the multihit game. "Im definitely excited because I dont take success for granted," Craig said. "This games tough and a lot goes into having a good game." Lynn (5-2) allowed seven hits walked two and struck out three. He seemed to get stronger as the game went on. "It was just one of those things where everything clicked and all of a sudden I was throwing the ball where I wanted to," Lynn said. "I was throwing the ball in the strike zone and when that happens, its fun to pitch." Carlos Martinez retired the Braves on four pitches in the eighth and Trevor Rosenthal set down the side in order for his 12th save in 13 opportunities. Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong had two hits each and scored a run for St. Louis. Matt Holiday, Matt Adams and Yadier Molina all drove in a run for the Cardinals. St. Louis finished the game without manager Mike Matheny and centre fielder Peter Bourjos, both of whom were ejected by home plate umpire Sean Barber at the end of the fourth inning for arguing balls and strikes. "I loved to see the fire and the fight that Peter showed there," Matheny said. LaRoy Reynolds Jersey. "Frustrated and knew a couple of pitches didnt get called to what he thought was the strike zone in big situations. You cant take the emotions out of these guys." The Braves Chris Johnson went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Johnson is batting .377 (20 for 53) in May. While Johnson has been hot, his teammates have not. The Braves, who have lost 11 of 16, were held to two or fewer runs for the 18th time. "We get one or even two guys hot and theyre so far apart in the lineup that we dont get it going," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Sooner or later well start swinging like were capable of." Ervin Santana (4-1) took his first loss as a member of the Braves. Santana lasted five innings and allowed five runs and 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts. St. Louis broke open a 2-2 tie by scoring three times in the fifth. With one out, Carpenter and Wong singled. Holliday followed with an RBI double down the right field line to score Carpenter. Wong scored on Craigs single to left and Molina made it 5-2 with a sacrifice fly. The Braves took a 1-0 lead in the second on a two-out RBI single by Tyler Pastornicky, but the Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the inning on Adams RBI double. After the Braves took a 2-1 lead in the fourth on Andrelton Simmons 6-4-3 double play ball, the Cardinals tied it in the bottom of the frame when Craig scored from third on Santanas wild pitch with two outs. NOTES: Jhonny Peralta stole second in the fourth inning for his first stolen base as a member of the Cardinals. ... Santana had two wild pitches, giving him a total of five, one behind Arizonas Wade Miley for the most in the National League. ... Atlantas Aaron Harang (4-3) will oppose Shelby Miller (5-2) in the second game of the series Saturday. ... Friday was the first time that Santana has allowed five or more earned runs since Aug. 9, 2013, in a 9-6 win over Boston when he was with Kansas City. Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys ChinaCheap Jerseys From China Cheap NFL Jerseys Authentic Wholesale Jerseys China Cheap NFL Jerseys China NFL Cheap Jerseys ' ' '

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