Rising Heat burns Raptors for No. 22
TORONTO — The Miami Heat tied the second-longest winning streak in NBA history, pulling away in the fourth quarter Sunday to beat the Toronto Raptors 108-91 for their 22nd consecutive victory.
LeBron James had 22 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, Dwyane Wade added 24 points and nine assists, and Ray Allen scored 16 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter for the defending NBA champions.
“It’s a special ride right now that we’re on,” James said. “The best thing about it is we’re doing it together.”
Chris Bosh finished with 18 points as the Heat equaled the mark set by the 2007-08 Houston Rockets. The record is 33 games, set by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
Miami will try to move into sole possession of second today when it visits the Boston Celtics — who ended the Rockets’ run five years ago.
“If there’s any group that would be motivated in a circumstance like this, it’s that team in green,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “I don’t know if the streak will be a big factor but they love playing against us, and vice versa. That’s what happens when you meet a team consecutively in the playoffs. There’s a history there, and that’s what makes these games special.”
The Heat have faced the Celtics twice so far this season. They blew out Boston 120-107 in Miami on opening night, then lost 100-98 in double-overtime on the road on Jan. 27, the day Boston learned that Rajon Rondo needed knee surgery.
LAKERS 113, KINGS 102
LOS ANGELES — Antawn Jamison scored 27 points, Metta World Peace added 22, and the Lakers won without Kobe Bryant, getting their sixth victory in seven games.
Bryant missed his first game of the season to rest his sprained left ankle, making a game-time decision to rest his aching joint. Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni used just seven players, but Jamison and fellow reserve Steve Blake took charge in the second half as the Lakers kept a one-game lead over Utah for eighth place in the Western Conference.
Isaiah Thomas scored 26 points and Patrick Patterson had 22 for the Kings, who have lost 12 of 13 on the road. The Kings played without DeMarcus Cousins, who has a bruised left quadriceps.
BUCKS 115, MAGIC 109
MILWAUKEE — Monta Ellis scored a season-high 39 points, including 25 in the fourth quarter, to rally the Bucks past Orlando.
Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee, which ended a three-game losing streak. Brandon Jennings had 15 points and 14 assists.
CLIPPERS 93, KNICKS 80
LOS ANGELES — Chris Paul had 20 points and eight assists, Caron Butler added 14 points, and the Clippers beat injury-depleted New York.
Blake Griffin had 12 points and 12 rebounds for the Clippers, who steadily pulled away in the second half of their first home win over the Knicks since February 2009.
J.R. Smith scored 17 points and Raymond Felton had 16 for New York, which played without All-Stars Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler in its fourth straight blowout loss on a five-game trip.
WARRIORS 108, ROCKETS 78
HOUSTON — Stephen Curry scored 29 points, Klay Thompson had 26 with six 3-pointers, and Golden State stayed ahead of Houston in the Western Conference standings.
James Harden and Jeremy Lin scored 21 points apiece for the Rockets, who now trail the Warriors by 1½ games for the No. 6 seed in the West.
Golden State snapped a five-game losing streak to the Rockets and got some payback for a 140-109 loss in Houston on Feb. 5, the Warriors’ most lopsided loss of the season. The Rockets scored a season-high point total in that one and a season-low point total on Sunday night.
Golden State also held Houston to season-low point totals in the first quarter (10) and first half (31) and won in Houston for the first time since Dec. 31, 2007.
T’WOLVES 97, HORNETS 95
MINNEAPOLIS — Derrick Williams scored a career-high 28 points and Ricky Rubio had 16 with six assists to lead Minnesota.
The Wolves got a lift in the final seconds from two players who hadn’t seen appeared in a game in more than two weeks when Nikola Pekovic hit two free throws to pull Minnesota ahead for good, and Andrei Kirilenko blocked Eric Gordon’s driving layup with 4.6 seconds to play.
Greivis Vasquez led the Hornets with 24 points and Robin Lopez had 20 points and 11 rebounds.
Minnesota shot 56.3 percent, but New Orleans stayed within striking distance largely because of its work on the offensive boards, scoring 20 second-chance points. Even on bad misses, Lopez was there to rebound or tip the ball to a teammate to keep possessions alive.
DALLAS — Kevin Durant scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 35 including the go-ahead jumper with 1 minute left, and Oklahoma City beat Dallas.
Durant was 3 of 9 from the floor before hitting seven shots in a row during one stretch in the fourth.
Westbrook connected on a 17-footer to give the Thunder a 103-101 lead. With a chance to tie on the next possession, Durant forced Dallas into a shot-clock violation when he blocked Mike James’ desperation jumper.
Thabo Sefolosha hit a turnaround jumper over O.J. Mayo to stretch Oklahoma City’s lead to 105-101.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 23 points, including two free throws for the Mavericks to tie the score at 101 with 1:20 left. Dallas, however, didn’t score after that.
HAWKS 105, NETS 93
NEW YORK — Al Horford had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Atlanta dominated the fourth quarter to keep Brooklyn from tying for first place in the Atlantic Division.
Josh Smith added 21 points and seven boards for the Hawks, who won their third straight by outscoring the Nets 34-20 in the final period. Neither team led by more than six points over the first three quarters and the game was tied with under 9 minutes to play before Atlanta broke it open with a 19-6 run.
Reggie Evans had a season-high 14 points and grabbed 22 rebounds for the Nets, who headed out for an eight-game road trip on a disappointing note. A victory would have moved them even with the slumping New York Knicks atop their division.
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