PHOENIX (AP) -- Phoenix took an important 74-72 victory against New Orleans on Thursday in a clash of two teams fighting for the last playoff spot in the NBA Western Conference, with the Suns capitalizing on the absence of Pelicans star Anthony Davis.
The result moved the Suns within 1-1/2 games of the Pelicans, who are ninth in the West.
In the day's other game with playoff implications, James Harden scored a career-high 50 points to lead Houston to a win against Denver.
Phoenix's Brandan Wright scored 16 points and matched his career high with seven blocked shots.
New Orleans lost Davis when he rolled an ankle in the shoot-around, and he is also in doubt for Friday's game against Golden State.
Eric Gordon scored 14 for the cold-shooting Pelicans.
Houston's Harden added 10 rebounds to his 50 points, leading the Rockets to a 118-108 win against Denver.
Harden eclipsed his previous career-best of 46, set in 2013. He passed that mark with a free throw with about a minute remaining. On Houston's next possession, he swished a 3 under heavy pressure, to make it 50.
Six straight points by the Nuggets cut the lead to 8 with about five minutes left when the Rockets made the next five points, capped by a step back jump shot from Harden.
The win moved the Rockets within a game of Southwest Division leader Memphis.
Utah sent the Los Angeles Lakers to their 50th loss of the season, with Gordon Hayward scoring 22 points for the visitors.
Minnesota's Zach LaVine made the tying and go-ahead free throws with 10.7 seconds left and scored six of his 20 points in overtime as the Timberwolves outlasted the New York Knicks 95-92 in a match of the league's two worst teams.