Harden's 44 Lead Rockets Over Blazers, 110-95James Harden scored a season-high 44 points to help the Houston Rockets cruise to a 110-95 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night and snap a two-game skid. The Trail Blazers were without leading scorer and rebounder LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed the game with an upper-respiratory illness, and had their five-game winning streak snapped. Harden had 31 in the first half to help the Rockets erase an early eight-point deficit and take a 20-point halftime lead. The Blazers didn't threaten after that and Harden went to the bench for good with about 4 minutes left and Houston up 107-86. It was Harden's NBA-leading third 40-point game this season, with all of them coming this month. Damian Lillard led Portland with 18 points and CJ McCollum added 17. HOUSTON (AP) – December 23, 2014
Gaines Improved, Rams Sticking With Wells In FinaleIt'll be later in the week before the St. Louis Rams learn whether rookie cornerback E.J. Gaines can recover from a concussion in time for the season finale. Fisher also said Monday he's sticking with center Scott Wells, who botched two critical shotgun snaps in Sunday's 37-27 loss to the Giants. Wells has worn a brace on his right elbow half the season. Fisher said Gaines was improved, but the rookie will follow the concussion evaluation protocol. Gaines had his helmet knocked off in a collision with teammate T.J. McDonald. Gaines had been diving to defend a pass as McDonald also converged on Odell Beckham Jr. Fisher said the Rams (6-9) had no other serious injury concerns heading into this week's game at Seattle. ST. LOUIS (AP) – December 23, 2014
Seahawks Close In On NFC West Title
Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, Seattle set a franchise record with 596 yards of offense, and the streaking Seahawks closed in on another NFC West title with a 35-6 romp over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night. Seattle moved into a tie with Arizona for first in the NFC West and the Seahawks hold the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over the Cardinals.