Highlights of Friday's National Basketball Association playoff games

April 24 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Basketball Association playoff games Rockets 130, Mavericks 128 James Harden scored a career-playoff-high 42 points and the Houston Rockets withstood Dallas' desperate punch to beat the Mavericks and take a commanding 3-0 series lead. The Rockets can close out the best-of-seven playoff series and move on to the Western Conference semifinals with a victory Sunday night back in Dallas. Houston trailed by 13 in the first half before storming back behind Harden who knocked down a jumper with 13 seconds left that helped nail down the win. Rockets center Dwight Howard pulled down a playoff career-best 26 rebounds and scored 13 points. Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis each scored 34 for Dallas who played without Chandler Parsons (back) and point guard Rajon Rondo, out indefinitely. - - - Wizards 106, Raptors 99 Marcin Gortat scored 24 points and guard John Wall had 19 points and 15 assists as the Washington Wizards downed the Toronto Raptors for a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven playoff series. Six Wizards scored in double figures, including forward Paul Pierce with 18 points on four three-pointers. One of two lower seeds to win on the road in the postseason, Washington claimed both Game 1 and 2 in Toronto. The Wizards have never led a series 3-0 in franchise history. They can close out the first-round series Sunday in Washington. Toronto's DeMar DeRozan started 8 of 10 from the field and scored 20 of his 32 points in the first quarter. (Editing by Jahmal Corner)