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NBA scores: Rockets rise with early-week wins

The surging Houston Rockets started the week off well with wins over the Knicks and 76ers.

Elsa

The return of Jeremy Lin to Madison Square Garden was one of the NBA's big storylines at the start of the week, and the point guard didn't disappoint.

Behind Lin's 22 points and eight assists, Houston dealt New York its first home loss of the season with a 109-96 defeat. James Harden added 28 points for the Rockets, who then went home and blasted the 76ers, 125-103, on Wednesday.

It was a good start to the week for Houston, which has won four of its last five and seems to be regaining its balance after a shaky start to the year. Now at 13-12, the Rockets are a game ahead of Dallas in the Southwest Division, and climbing in the Western Conference.

Elsewhere in the division, the Mavericks snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Philadelphia on Wednesday, 107-100. O.J. Mayo led the way with 26 points. The San Antonio Spurs dropped two games on the road, first at Oklahoma City on Monday, 107-93, then at Denver, 112-106. That left them in a tie for first in the Southwest with Memphis, which won its first two games of the week. The Grizzlies dispatched of Chicago and Milwaukee at home, beating the Bulls on Monday, 80-71, then the Bucks on Wednesday, 90-80. And at the bottom of the division is New Orleans, which has lost eight straight and fell to Portland on Sunday, 95-94, then Golden State on Tuesday, 103-96.

Houston doesn't play again this week until a Western Conference showdown with Memphis at home on Saturday.

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