James Harden stars as Brooklyn Nets beat Portland Trail Blazers

In the absence of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, he finished with 25 points

James Harden overcame a neck issue to help the Brooklyn Nets escape with a four-point win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Harden was a late inclusion to play against Portland after suffering neck soreness from an incident against the Washington Wizards on Sunday.

In the absence of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, Harden was again key in getting Brooklyn across the line as he finished with 25 points and 17 assists in the 116-112 victory.

Damian Lillard had 22 points for Portland, who were left to rue a rare poor shooting night.


Meanwhile the Philadelphia 76ers left it until late against the Golden State Warriors, claiming a 108-98 victory on the back of a fourth-quarter surge from Tobias Harris.

The Warriors did well to keep pace with the Sixers throughout most of the game, especially with Steph Curry on the sidelines with a coccyx injury.

However back-to-back late baskets from Harris ultimately gave the Sixers enough of a buffer to seal their 31st win of the season.

The Phoenix Suns continued their strong season with an impressive 110-100 win over the Miami Heat.

Phoenix took an early lead and refused to relinquish it behind a 23-point effort from Devin Booker.

The victory marked seven road wins in a row for the Suns, who remain just two games behind the Utah Jazz at the top of the Western Conference.

In the rest of the day’s action, Julius Randle scored 37 points in the New York Knicks’ 131-113 demolition of the Washington Wizards, the New Orleans Pelicans cruised past the Los Angeles Lakers 128-111 and the Denver Nuggets beat the Orlando Magic 110-99.