HEAT 98, 76ERS 94
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 on Wednesday night.
Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers.
HAWKS 96, LAKERS 92
ATLANTA (AP) — Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and short-handed Atlanta shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant to snap a three-game losing streak.
Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones’ foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.
Bryant hobbled off and Kyle Korver knocked down two free throws to clinch it.
Atlanta won for just the second time in eight games despite missing Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.
CELTICS 112, RAPTORS 88
BOSTON (AP) — Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points to lead Boston.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
Garnett hit a bank shot with 10:03 left in the second quarter and received a standing ovation when his milestone was announced during a stoppage a few minutes later. Boston fans returned to their feet again in the third to recognize Pierce.
Jeff Green scored 20 to lead the Celtics, who ended a two-game slide and won their 10th straight at home.
Rudy Gay had 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 17 points for the Raptors, who have lost seven of nine.
PACERS 107, TIMBERWOLVES 91
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Indiana.
Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second win in three games. Ricky Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists and Luke Ridnour scored 17 points for the Timberwolves, who have lost nine of their last 11 games.
The Pacers went on an 8-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 62-54 lead at halftime. They stretched the advantage to 16 late in the third quarter when George hit a fadeaway jumper and then a 3-pointer.
WIZARDS 106, BUCKS 93
WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists to lead Washington past Milwaukee.
Wall and Wizards coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks’ comeback.
It was Wall’s seventh double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and four steals.
The Wizards have won three straight home games and eight of 11 in Washington.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Bucks.
ROCKETS 111, SUNS 81
HOUSTON (AP) — Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead five Houston starters in double figures. James Harden scored 18 and Omer Asik had 14 for the Rockets, who stayed in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference standings.
Wesley Johnson scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter for the Suns, who lost to Houston for just the fourth time in the last 14 meetings. Luis Scola had four points and four rebounds in his first game in Houston since the Rockets designated him as their amnesty cut last summer.
Houston had all five starters in double figures for the 11th time this season.
THUNDER 110, JAZZ 87
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant scored 23 points, Russell Westbrook added 19 and Oklahoma City cruised past Utah.
Kevin Martin had 15 points as Oklahoma City improved to 25-8 at home. The Thunder led 29-19 after one quarter and 50-28 at halftime.
Gordon Hayward scored 20 points to lead Utah, and Enes Kanter had 12. The Jazz lost for the eighth time in 10 games, but remained one-half game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth place in the West.