NBA: James Harden crosses 20,000-point mark, Lakers beat Thunder without James and Davis

(REUTERS) – James Harden became the 45th player in National Basketball Association (NBA) history to score 20,000 career points, as the Houston Rockets rolled to a 139-109 victory over the visiting Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday.

Harden drilled a step-back three-pointer with 6min 30sec remaining in the first half to reach the milestone and finished with 32 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.

He also recorded 11 turnovers, all in the first half, but his wayward ball-handling did little to stem the offensive onslaught.

Houston have won 21 of their last 25 meetings with the Timberwolves, including 13 straight at home.

The Rockets blistered Minnesota despite playing without centre Clint Capela (heel) and losing forward P.J. Tucker to a stinger early in the first quarter.

The Timberwolves were without centre Karl-Anthony Towns for a 13th consecutive game.

Josh Okogie paced seven Wolves in double figures with 16 points. Rookie Jarrett Culver added 15 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

At the Chesapeake Energy Arena, Kyle Kuzma scored a season-high 36 points as the Los Angeles Lakers won their eighth straight game, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder 125-110.

The Lakers led by as many as 32 points in the second half, but the Thunder cut the lead to just 11 with less than three minutes remaining before Kuzma hit back-to-back shots to put the game firmly in control once again.

Rajon Rondo added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Lakers, who were without stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Danilo Gallinari and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander scored 24 points each to lead the Thunder, who lost for just the second time in nine games.

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