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NBA roundup: James Harden passes 20,000 points as Rockets beat Timberwolves

The point guard achieved the milestone with a trademark shot.

James Harden became the 45th NBA player to score 20,000 career points on Saturday as the Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 139-109.

Harden got 22 points in the first half alone, including a step-back three-pointer that moved the 30-year-old past 20,000 and pushed the Rockets towards victory.

In the night"s other games, the Detroit Pistons lost 108-99 to the Chicago Bulls, the Los Angeles Lakers went 125-110 over theย Oklahoma City Thunder and the Dallas Mavericks blew out the Philadelphia 76ers 109-91.

The Denver Nuggets suffered an upset 110-103 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 122-101.

Jayson Tatum led the way with 41 points at TD Garden as his Boston Celtics trounced the New Orleans Pelicans 140-105 and broke a three-game losing streak.

Tatum shot an efficient 16-of-22 from the field and six of nine from the three-point line on his way to a career-high 41, with Gordon Hayward, Jalen Brown and Kemba Walker all having strong games.

Celtics coach Brad Stevens said he thinks Tatum has had "a great year but I think he can get better".

"I just think he's gonna be ever-improving, he had a couple of finishes with good hands early in the game, I think he has the right attitude, attack," Stevens told reporters.

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Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) shoots over Atlanta Hawks center Alex Len (25) during the first half at State Farm Arena on January 9, 2020
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