NBA: Lebron, Heat win face-off against Knicks


MIAMI — LeBron James scored 31 points, Dwyane Wade added 23 and the Miami Heat used a huge third quarter to run away and eventually rout the New York Knicks 108-82 on Thursday night.

James donned a dark mask to protect his broken nose and was clearly unencumbered, hitting 13 of 19 shots and topping 30 points for the fifth consecutive game.

Wade shot 10 for 13 from the field, and Miami outscored New York 23-3 over the final 7:02 of the third and won its sixth straight. The Heat shot 61 percent, while the Knicks shot 37 percent.

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for New York, but none in the final 21:38. Tyson Chandler had 19 points and 16 rebounds, and J.R. Smith added 11 points. The Knicks fell to 2-10 in February.

Wizards 134, Raptors 129, 3OT

TORONTO — Trevor Ariza scored the go-ahead basket on a fast-break layup with 1:20 left in the third overtime and Washington outlasted Toronto for its fifth straight victory.

Marcin Gortat fouled out with 31 points and 12 rebounds, John Wall also had 31 points, and Ariza fouled out with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points in 58 minutes for Toronto, and Kyle Lowry fouled out with 18 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in 54 minutes. Greivis Vasquez added a season-high 26 points.

Nets 112, Nuggets 89

DENVER — Paul Pierce scored 18 points and Brooklyn rebounded from its worst loss in more than 10 years.

Joe Johnson, Marcus Thornton, and Mason Plumlee each added 10 points for the Nets, who snapped a six-game losing streak in Denver. The Nets hadn’t won in the Mile High City since a 112-102 victory on Jan. 27, 2007.

Randy Foye had 15 points to lead Denver, which has lost four in a row and nine of 10.

Brooklyn’s 7-foot center Jason Collins, the NBA’s first openly gay player appearing in his third game since being signed to a 10-day contract, was given a round of applause from the crowd when he entered the game for the first time with 8:02 left. Collins finished with three points.

Pacers 101, Bucks 96

INDIANAPOLIS — Roy Hibbert had 24 points and 12 rebounds to help Indiana rally to beat Milwaukee.

Paul George and Lance Stephenson each scored 18 points for NBA-leading Indiana. The Pacers, 44-13 overall and an NBA-best 28-3 at home, blew a 17-point lead in the first half.

The Bucks, an NBA-worst 11-46, tied it at 50 at the half and built a six-point lead in the third quarter. Brandon Knight had 23 points for Milwaukee, and Khris Middleton added 22.

Before the game, the Bucks waived forward Caron Butler after agreeing to a contract buyout.

Kings’ Cousins suspended 1 game

NEW YORK — The NBA suspended Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins for one game and fined him $20,000 for punching an opposing player and verbally abusing an official in a game earlier this week.

Cousins has been suspended for punching Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley in the stomach with 9:44 remaining in the first quarter of the Kings’ 129-103 loss on Tuesday night in Sacramento.

He was fined for verbally abusing a game official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following an ejection with 8:21 remaining in the third quarter.

Cousins, who leads the team in scoring (22.3 points per game) and rebounding (11.5 per game), will serve his suspension on Friday when the Kings visit the Los Angeles Lakers.