James Harden and the Rockets were looking for their sixth straight win after a 10-14 start to the season, but they lost Chris Paul to a hamstring injury and Eric Gordon's final 3-pointer rimmed out to give the Rockets the loss.
In the nightcap, Mavs big man DeAndre Jordan made his return to Staples Center for the first time to face the Clippers after leaving his original franchise over the offseason. However, he couldn't bring the Mavericks to victory as the Clippers pulled away late in the fourth quarter.
Here's everything you need to know about Thursday's action, along with Friday's schedule.
NBA scores for Thursday, Dec. 20
NBA schedule for Friday, Dec. 21
*All times Eastern
- Cleveland Cavaliers at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Detroit Pistons at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Indiana Pacers at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Milwaukee Bucks at Boston Celtics, 8 p.m. (GameTracker) -- ESPN
- Orlando Magic at Chicago Bulls, 8 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Minnesota Timberwolves at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Memphis Grizzlies at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- Utah Jazz at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. (GameTracker) (Watch on fubo TV with NBA League Pass extension)
- New Orleans Pelicans at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. (GameTracker) -- ESPN
Clippers crowd welcomes Jordan back
Mavericks center DeAndre Jordan received a warm welcome from the crowd during his return to Staples Center, and he was also acknowledged with a tribute video by the Clippers. Jordan played 10 seasons with the Clippers from 2008 to 2018. The big man finished with 11 points and 22 rebounds in his homecoming.
Miami stops Rockets' winning streak
The Rockets had a chance to leave Miami with their sixth straight win, but Eric Gordon's 3-pointer rimmed out as time expired. Josh Richardson led the Heat with 22 points, seven assists and six rebounds.
CP3 leaves with injury
Chris Paul pulled up lame after chasing after a loose ball, and went directly to the locker room. He did not return to the game after suffering a hamstring injury.
Wade rises for baseline jam
Dwyane Wade may be 36 years old, but he still has no problem getting to the rim. On this play, Wade blew by Brandon Knight on the baseline and rose up to throw down the ferocious one-handed slam dunk.
Harden connects with Capela on lob
The Rockets have been one of the hottest teams in the NBA as of late with a five-game winning streak entering Thursday's game. Houston went on a 12-2 run in the opening quarter to help stretch out their lead, and it was highlighted by a tremendous alley-oop from James Harden to Clint Capela.
Rockets look for another win after record 26 treys
Despite their rough start to the season, the Rockets are beginning to look more like the team that won 65 games last season. They Washington Wizards and are looking for their sixth straight win as they visit the Heat.in last night's win over the
And in honor of Harden's infamous double step-back from Monday's win over the Utah Jazz, here's a nice video of the reigning MVP as he travels to South Beach.
DeAndre will start against Clippers
DeAndre Jordan was questionable to play versus his former team due to an illness, but according to multiple reports, he will play and start on Thursday.
DeAndre will start tonight.— Dwain Price (@DwainPrice) December 21, 2018