Basketball: Hawks snap Rockets' win streak, as James receives early birthday gift

LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes up for a dunk against the Denver Nuggets on Dec 29, 2015.
LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers goes up for a dunk against the Denver Nuggets on Dec 29, 2015.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - The Atlanta Hawks rallied from a 19-point deficit to snap Houston Rockets' home win streak, and LeBron James received an early birthday gift as the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated Denver on Tuesday night.

Al Horford and Paul Millsap posted double-doubles and the Hawks rallied to win a Texas-style shootout over the Rockets by a score of 121-115 at Toyota Center in Houston.

Horford finished with 30 points and 14 rebounds while Millsap tallied 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who have now won their last four meetings with the Rockets.

Millsap also had a block of Rockets centre Dwight Howard with 11 seconds left on the clock and Atlanta clinging to a 117-115 lead.

"We fought through adversity and got it done," Horford said.

James, who will celebrate his 31st birthday on Wednesday, scored 34 points and grabbed six rebounds as the Cavaliers defeated the Nuggets 93-87.

"It has been a long roll for me but I got a longer roll to keep going. I got to keep pushing the envelope," James said. "Hard work pays off and tonight was an example of that."

Will Barton scored a team high 29 points and Joffrey Lauvergne scored 14 for Denver, who have lost six of their last seven games.

The Cavaliers were playing their fourth game in five nights on this Western Conference road trip. They lost a hard-fought game to Golden State in an NBA finals rematch on Christmas Day before winning the last two.

Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant combined for 53 points and 15 assists to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 131-123 victory over Milwaukee at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Westbrook earned 27 points on 10-of-22 shooting to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

Durant collected 26 points, six boards and eight assists, stretching his streak of scoring 20 or more points to 18 games.

Centre Enes Kanter came off the bench to tally 23 points and eight rebounds. Guard Cameron Payne added 16 points to help Oklahoma City improve to 22-10.