NBA: Pacers rally to beat Heat
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George scored 23 points and Roy Hibbert had 21, leading the Indiana Pacers back from a seven-point fourth-quarter deficit for an 84-83 victory over the Miami Heat on Wednesday night.
The NBA’s best home team ended a two-game losing streak, took a 2-1 lead in the season series against the two-time defending champions and rebuilt a three-game advantage in the race for the Eastern Conference’s top seed. Indiana (52-20) also clinched its second straight Central Division crown, something it hadn’t done since 1998-99 and 1999-2000.
LeBron James scored 38 points, but missed a potential go-ahead 3 late. Chris Bosh had a jumper at the buzzer to win it but it hit nothing but air.
George had two monster dunks — one over LeBron James — to get the Pacers back in the game.
SPURS 108, NUGGETS 103
SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan had 29 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and San Antonio overcame a fourth-quarter collapse to beat Denver for its 15th straight victory.
Danny Green scored 16 points before leaving with a foot injury early in the second half. Tiago Splitter, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili had 10 points apiece for San Antonio (55-16), which maintained the league’s best record.
Aaron Brooks scored 25 points and Kenneth Faried had 24 points, including 15 points in a frenzied final quarter for Denver. Timofey Mozgov added 14 points and 11 rebounds and Quincy Miller had 11 points.
After leading by as many as 24 points and by 20 midway through the third quarter, San Antonio needed Duncan’s late heroics to preserve its win streak.
Denver went on a 34-20 run in the final 11 minutes.
KNICKS 107, KINGS 99
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Carmelo Anthony scored 36 points, J.R. Smith added 29 points and New York held off a furious rally to beat Sacramento and move a game closer to a playoff berth.
A night after a lackluster 127-96 loss at the Los Angeles Lakers, the Knicks avoided a monumental collapse to another one of the Western Conference’s worst teams. New York led by 24 in the third quarter before Sacramento surged back, and the Knicks needed a scintillating shooting performance from Anthony and Smith to snap a two-game skid.
New York (30-42) is two games behind Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference after the Hawks (31-39) lost 107-83 to Minnesota.
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists for the Kings.
RAPTORS 99, CELTICS 90
BOSTON — Terrence Ross scored 24 points, Kyle Lowry 23 and Toronto beat Boston to edge closer to its first playoff berth since 2008.
DeMar DeRozan added 20 points for Toronto, which increased its Atlantic Division lead to 2½ games over Brooklyn, which lost in Charlotte.
Jared Sullinger led Boston with 26 points, going 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Boston lost for the seventh time in eight games.
It was Lowry’s eighth straight game of 20 or more points and helped the Raptors snap an 11-game losing streak in Boston.
Toronto captured its 19th road win, one off the club record set 2000-01.
TIMBERWOLVES 107, HAWKS 83
MINNEAPOLIS — Gorgui Dieng had 15 points and 15 rebounds and Minnesota dealt slumping Atlanta another costly loss.
Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each scored 18 points and Kevin Love had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves. Minnesota scored 32 points off 26 Hawks turnovers and blew the game open in the second half.
Paul Millsap had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Atlanta, which has lost four straight and has the New York Knicks right in their rearview mirror for the eighth and final playoff spot. Jeff Teague, who had averaged more than 23 points over the previous four games, went scoreless for the first time this season on 0-for-5 shooting.
GRIZZLIES 91, JAZZ 87
SALT LAKE CITY — Zach Randolph had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and his two free throws with 11 seconds left clinched Memphis’ come-from-behind win over Utah.
Mike Conley scored 19 points and Marc Gasol added 18 for the Grizzlies, who won for the fifth time in six games and are a season-best 15 games over .500.
Derrick Favors had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Gordon Hayward scored 18 points and Richard Jefferson added 15 for the Jazz, who are 1-5 in their last six home games.
Though Memphis is the team in a tight playoff race, the Jazz exerted extra effort for steals and dove for loose balls and led for most the contest while playing their starters extended minutes.
The Grizzlies made the key plays down the stretch and made their final 13 free throws to secure the victory.
PELICANS 98, CLIPPERS 96
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had 16 points, 13 rebounds and six blocks, and under-manned New Orleans beat Los Angeles for its fourth straight win.
Darius Miller capped a 16-point effort with a pair of crucial late jumpers, the last giving New Orleans a 97-92 lead with 47 seconds left.
Anthony Morrow scored 27 points.
Jamal Crawford scored 31 for the Clippers, but narrowly missed a couple late 3-point attempts, including one as time expired that could have won it. Blake Griffin had 21 points but missed a free throw that could have tied it with 10.5 seconds left.
SUNS 99, WIZARDS 93
WASHINGTON —Goran Dragic and Eric Bledsoe combined to finish with 48 points, 13 assists and 13 rebounds, helping Phoenix beat Washington for its fifth consecutive victory.
The Suns moved into a tie with the Dallas Mavericks for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Both clubs are 43-29 with 10 games remaining.
The Suns have won seven of their last eight, coinciding with Bledsoe’s return to the starting lineup after missing 2½ months because of knee surgery. He had 23 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Dragic wound up with 25 points, six assists and seven rebounds.
John Wall led Washington with 29 points and six assists.
CAVALIERS 97, PISTONS 96
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Dion Waiters hit a contested baseline jumper at the buzzer to complete a rally that lifted Cleveland over Detroit.
The Pistons led 82-66 going into the fourth quarter, but once again collapsed down the stretch.
Jarrett Jack hit a 3-pointer to pull the Cavaliers within 96-90 with 2:49 left, and his jump shot made it a 4-point game with 90 seconds to play. After a bad Brandon Jennings miss, Jack drove the lane and hit a floater while being fouled. His free throw made it 96-95 with 53.8 seconds left.
After several Piston misses and timeouts by both teams, Waiters got the ball in the right corner and hit a 19-footer as time expired.
Matt Dellavedova led Cleveland with a career-high 21 points, Waiters had 18 and Jack 17.
Josh Smith scored 24 points for Detroit.
BOBCATS 116, NETS 111, OT
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Al Jefferson scored 35 points, Kemba Walker had a double-double and the Charlotte Bobcats defeated the Brooklyn Nets 116-111 in overtime Wednesday night for their 10th victory at home in the last 12 games.
Walker had 20 points and 12 assists and Chris Douglas-Roberts had 16 points, including two big jump shots in overtime.
It was Jefferson’s 12th 30-point game this season for the Bobcats, who beat the Nets for only the second time in the last 11 meetings.
The win pulled the Bobcats within three games of the Nets, the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. Charlotte (35-37) has the conference’s seventh-best record.
Deron Williams finished with 29 points for Brooklyn, after scoring 18 in the first quarter. Joe Johnson had 18.