Penny Hardaway and Jason Kidd both flirted with triple-doubles as the Suns won their seventh in a row with a wild 128-122 double-overtime victory over the Houston Rockets last night in Phoenix.
The Rockets tied an NBA record by playing their third consecutive overtime game. They lost at Portland Friday and won at Vancouver on Sunday, becoming the first team since Milwaukee in December 1997 to play three straight overtime games.
The Suns' Rodney Rogers was ejected with 44.4 seconds left in regulation for throwing Cuttino Mobley to the floor on a rebound, and Houston converted the free throws to tie the game. The Rockets' Steve Francis left the game with an injured left ankle 24 seconds later. He probably won't play when the Rockets wrap up a four-game road trip against the Los Angeles Clippers tonight.
Cliff Robinson scored a season-high 25 points, including four of five three-pointers. Hardaway had 21 points, 8 assists and 8 rebounds.
Houston's Charles Barkley blamed the loss on Mike Mathis, one of seven officials reinstated by the NBA after they resigned last year following charges of tax violations.
"He's a bad official. He's been bad the whole time I've been in the league," Barkley said. "He cost us the game tonight, and I hate that he's back in the league."
HEAT 90, 76ERS 83: In Miami, Alonzo Mourning had 28 points, 15 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. Miami, which won its fourth straight game without injured starting point guard Tim Hardaway, improved to 12-3 for the best start in franchise history.
NUGGETS 100, PISTONS 96: In Denver, Antonio McDyess had 24 points and 11 rebounds and Raef LaFrentz added 19 for the Nuggets. It was the Pistons' first loss to Denver since Dec. 4, 1995.
PACERS 96, GRIZZLIES 89: Reggie Miller scored 26 points and Indiana handed host Vancouver its ninth straight loss.
TRAIL BLAZERS 94, HORNETS 90: In Portland, Ore., Detlef Schrempf scored 18 points and Greg Anthony hit two key shots late in the game.
LAKERS 93, WARRIORS 75: In Inglewood, Calif., Shaquille O'Neal had 28 points, 23 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, and Kobe Bryant scored 19 points in his first game of the season since breaking his right hand in the first preseason game.