Best of NBA: James Harden posts another triple-double in Rockets' win

Best of NBA: James Harden posts another triple-double in Rockets' win

TORONTO -- James Harden had 40 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds for his 10th triple-double of the season, and the Houston Rockets beat the Toronto Raptors, 129-122, on Sunday night for their eighth straight victory.

Harden also had 10 turnovers. According to Elias Sports Bureau, Harden is the first player with a 40-point triple-double and 10 or more turnovers since turnovers became official in the 1977-78 season.

Montrezl Harrell added 28 points on 12-of-13 shooting in 25 minutes, and fellow reserve Eric Gordon had 19 points to help Houston win consecutive road games over the Raptors for the first time.

DeMar DeRozan had 36 points for the Raptors, setting a career high with his 18th 30-plus-point game of the season. DeMarre Carroll tied a career high with 26 points and set a career high with six 3-pointers on 10 attempts.

Down 99-95 entering the fourth quarter, the Rockets went on a 15-0 run to take an 11-point lead. DeRozan's run of 12 consecutive points for the Raptors cut into that advantage, but Toronto could get no closer than five points (see full recap).

LeBron's big 4th quarter helps Cavs hold off Suns
PHOENIX -- LeBron James scored 12 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter and Cleveland fought off Phoenix down the stretch for a 120-116 victory.

Kyrie Irving added 27 points and Kevin Love 25 for the Cavaliers. They led by as many as 22 in the first half and 20 early in the third quarter. The Suns tied it late in the third and got within one in the fourth but never took the lead.

Eric Bledsoe scored 31 points and Devin Booker had 28 for the Suns.

James sank consecutive 3-pointers, his only 3s of the game, to give Cleveland a 115-109 lead with 2:46 to play and scored on a driving layup with 44 seconds left to make it 120-114 (see full recap).

Reddick, Paul lead Clippers to 4th straight win
LOS ANGELES -- J.J. Redick scored 25 points and Los Angeles beat Miami for its fourth straight victory, this one a 98-86 final.

Chris Paul had 19 points, 18 assists and one turnover, and DeAndre Jordan added 18 rebounds to help keep the Clippers unbeaten in the new year after they closed 2016 on a six-game skid.

Goran Dragic scored 24 points, and Hassan Whiteside had 15 points and 13 rebounds for Miami. The Heat shot 37 percent and had three technical fouls.

The Clippers broke it open with a 43-21 run that spanned the second and third quarters. Redick scored 14 points and Paul added 12 as they stretched the lead from one point to 23 points. Redick hit three 3-pointers and Paul added another (see full recap).

Sixers' Joel Embiid, Dario Saric beat out by Malcolm Brogdon for Rookie of the Year

Sixers' Joel Embiid, Dario Saric beat out by Malcolm Brogdon for Rookie of the Year

Updated: 10 p.m.

Joel Embiid and Dario Saric had standout rookie years, but in the end, Malcolm Brogdon was named the 2016-17 Kia NBA Rookie of the Year.

The Bucks guard beat out the pair of Sixers at the NBA Awards held Monday night in New York. Brogdon was a 1/4 favorite to win, according to Bovada (see story).

“This is a testament to guys that are underestimated,” Brogdon, the 36th pick in the 2016 draft, said while accepting the award. “Guys that are second-round picks, guys that are undrafted every year that get looked over regardless of the work they put in, regardless of what they do.”

The voting could have gone in various directions without a clear checklist of criteria. 

The trio played different positions, voiding out an equal statistical comparison. Would the three-point shooting of a guard outweigh the rebounding of a big man?

Embiid was the clear favorite until he was sidelined. Would 31 games of dominance be enough?

Even though this is an individual award, the Bucks (42-40) had a better team record than the Sixers (28-54). Would the fact Brogdon was a contributor on a playoff team overshadow the games in which Embiid and Saric put the Sixers on their backs?

Different variables were in play, creating a case for and against each player (see story).

See how the rookies stacked up:

Joel Embiid
• Games played: 31 (31 starts)

• Minutes: 25.4

• Points: 20.2

• Shooting: 46.6 percent FG, 36.7 percent 3PG, 78.3 percent FT

• Rebounds: 7.8

• Assists: 2.1

• Blocks: 2.45

• Double-doubles: 9

Dario Saric
• Games played: 81 (36 starts)

• Minutes: 26.3

• Points: 12.8

• Shooting: 41.1 percent FG, 31.1 percent 3PG, 78.2 percent FT

• Rebounds: 6.3

• Assists: 2.2

• Double-doubles: 10

Malcolm Brogdon
• Games played: 75 (28 starts)

• Minutes: 26.4

• Points: 10.2

• Shooting: 45.7 percent FG, 40.4 percent 3PG, 86.5 percent FT

• Rebounds: 2.8

• Assists: 4.2

• Steals: 1.1

•  Double-doubles: 2

• Triple-doubles: 1

Brogdon and Saric were unanimously voted to the All-Rookie first team on Monday. Embiid was also on the first team, receiving seven second-team votes (see story).

The Sixers could claim this award next season with 2017 No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz or 2016 No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons.

Final look at Sixers' Rookie of the Year odds with awards announced tonight

Final look at Sixers' Rookie of the Year odds with awards announced tonight

NBA awards will finally be announced tonight during a special ceremony at 9 ET on TNT.

The Sixers have two of the three finalists for Rookie of the Year in Dario Saric and Joel Embiid.

But it's Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon who enters tonight as the favorite.

Brogdon is 1/4 to win Rookie of the Year, meaning it would require a $400 bet to win $100. 

Saric is next at 3/1, while Embiid is 9/1, per Bovada. 

Both Saric and Embiid made the All-Rookie First Team (see story).

Embiid obviously would have won the award had he stayed healthy this season. He averaged 20.2 points. 7.8 rebounds and 2.5 blocks but played just 31 games.

Saric took off during the second half with Embiid sidelined and Ersan Ilyasova traded. Over his last 30 games, Saric averaged 17.9 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists.

For the season, Saric averaged 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 2.2 assists. 

Brogdon averaged 10.2 points and 4.8 assists and shot 40.4 percent from three for a playoff team. His second-half surge coincided with Milwaukee's improved play, which is why he's the favorite. It should be noted, though, that Embiid won Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month in November, December and January, and Saric won in February and March. The only other player to claim the award was the Knicks' Willy Hernangomez in April.

Here are the odds for the rest of tonight's awards:

MVP odds
Russell Westbrook (Thunder): 1/50
James Harden (Rockets): 6/1
Kawhi Leonard (Spurs): 33/1

Coach of the Year
Mike D'Antoni (Rockets): 1/11
Gregg Popovich (Spurs): 7/1
Erik Spoelstra (Heat): 7/1

Sixth Man
Eric Gordon (Rockets): 1/7
Andre Iguodala (Warriors): 6/1
Lou Williams (Lakers/Rockets): 6/1