Nets beat Heat again
MIAMI — Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter, Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench and the Brooklyn Nets beat Miami for the third time in as many tries this season, topping the Heat 96-95 on Wednesday night.
Shaun Livingston scored 13 points, Andray Blatche added 11 and Deron Williams had eight assists for the Nets, who’ve won seven of their past eight games and are 23-9 since Jan. 1.
Chris Bosh scored 24 points for Miami, giving him 15,003 for his career. Dwyane Wade scored 22, LeBron James finished with 19 and Mario Chalmers scored 14 for the Heat.
The Heat got within one three times down the stretch, and tied it after Wade made a free throw with 2:02 remaining. Brooklyn scored the next four, Miami answered with a three-point play by Bosh with 30.6 seconds left, but never got the lead back.
The Heat had a chance to win with 3.5 seconds left, but never got a shot off after the Nets knocked a pass away.
So for the second time this season, Brooklyn beat Miami by one.
And without Pierce getting hot, it likely wouldn’t have happened.
Pierce was 5 for 5 from the field, 3 for 3 from 3-point range and got fouled on another try from beyond the arc in that third quarter, his biggest-scoring period of the season. Wade fouled him on that 3, then got whistled for a technical, and Chalmers was given another technical for arguing another play later in the quarter.
And in the end, the Heat had little room for that kind of error.
Chalmers made a 3-pointer to get Miami within 84-81 with 6:57 left, but Teletovic — who hadn’t had a double-digit scoring game in exactly a month before Wednesday — answered from several feet beyond the arc on the next Brooklyn possession to restore a six-point lead.
Miami never got the lead back. Pierce had a 3 to make it 90-86, then a drive to snap a 92-all tie with 1:45 remaining.
Miami beat every other team in the league last season, and still could repeat the feat this year. The Heat entered Wednesday having beaten 26 of the 29 opposing clubs, the three holdouts being Houston (who visits Sunday), Memphis (who Miami hasn’t faced yet) — and the Nets, who won the first two meetings against the Heat this season in Brooklyn.
Brooklyn is now 31-1 when leading after three quarters.
It was tied after one quarter, then tied again at the half, and at times in the opening 24 minutes the game wasn’t exactly loaded with plays that will make the teams’ respective highlight reels.
Livingston threw a pair of passes into the crowd, Williams had an alley-oop try that missed its target by several feet, Chalmers lost his dribble once without any real defensive pressure and James had an array of odd first-half moments. He missed four of his first five shots, changed his shoes a few minutes into the game, and had one jumper bounce off the side of the backboard.
In the end, no harm was done either way: It was 42-all at the break.
The Nets were without Kevin Garnett (back) and Andrei Kirilenko (ankle). Garnett is expected to miss at least one more game, while Kirilenko tested his ankle in a morning shootaround practice before the Nets figured he wasn’t ready to play.
KINGS 115, 76ERS 98
PHILADELPHIA — Rudy Gay scored 27 points, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and Sacramento extended Philadelphia’s losing streak to 18 games.
DeMarcus Cousins had 19 points and 12 rebounds, and Ben McLemore scored 15 points for the Kings, who snapped a three-game skid. Jason Thompson added 14.
The Kings are in the midst of a seven-game, 12-day road trip, their longest of the season. They are 2-3 on the trip.
Henry Sims posted career-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds, James Anderson added 17 points and Thaddeus Young had 16 for Philadelphia, which fell to 15-49 in dropping its 14th in a row at home, an ongoing franchise record.
KNICKS 116, CELTICS 92
BOSTON — Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half as New York opened a 24-point lead and coasted past Boston for its fifth straight win.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 points, J.R. Smith 13 and Cole Aldrich had 12 with 10 rebounds in his first career start for the Knicks, who are making a charge for the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.
The victory moved the Knicks into ninth place, a half-game ahead of Detroit, which lost in Toronto on Wednesday. They are three games behind eighth-place Atlanta.
Jeff Green led Boston with 27 points. Kris Humphries and Jerryd Bayless each had 15 for the Celtics, who have lost nine of 12.
RAPTORS 101, PISTONS 87
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Amir Johnson had 20 against his former team and Toronto handed Detroit its 10th straight road defeat.
Kyle Lowry added 19 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 13 rebounds for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who won for the fourth time in five meetings with Detroit. Toronto has won 15 of 19 at home after losing eight of its first 12 home games this season.
Toronto won for the 10th time in 13 games and improved to 30-7 when holding its opponent below 100 points.
NEW ORLEANS — Mike Conley hit a driving layup against Austin Rivers with 1.5 seconds remaining to complete Memphis’ comeback victory over New Orleans.
Conley’s basket closed out a 9-0 Grizzlies run to end the game. Memphis trailed 88-81 with 3:22 remaining, but the undermanned Pelicans, playing without guards Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon, were held scoreless from that point.
Conley scored 16 points to lead the Grizzlies, who won their fourth straight game. Marc Gasol added 15 points, and Zach Randolph and Tony Allen 13 each for Memphis.
Anthony Davis scored 29 points, including 22 in the first half, for the Pelicans, who had won their past three games. Rivers added 14, Brian Roberts 12 and Anthony Morrow 10.
Davis, who turned 21 Tuesday, also had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots.
WASHINGTON — Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson went 6 for 9 in his return from a calf injury to lead Charlotte over Washington.
Henderson finished with 13 points, and Kemba Walker’s 16 points included four consecutive free throws during a late fourth-quarter run for the Bobcats, who have won four of five and sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.
John Wall scored 23 points to lead the Wizards, but he went scoreless in the fourth and received little help from his teammates. Washington had won eight of its previous 10 and began the day in fifth, one-half game ahead of the Brooklyn Nets.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 21 points and 10 rebounds to rally Denver past Orlando.
JJ Hickson had 20 points and nine rebounds, and Ty Lawson added 17 points and 12 assists for the Nuggets, who ended a two-game losing streak.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 24 points. Nikola Vucevic added 20, but had only four points in the second half. Jameer Nelson scored 19 points and had nine assists in Orlando’s fifth loss in six games.
After trailing by as many as 13 points in the first half, Denver took an 85-74 lead into the fourth quarter. A fast-break layup by JJ Hickson gave the Nuggets a 105-92 lead with 4:49 to play.
The Magic trimmed the deficit to five on two occasions, but got no closer.
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