LeBron leads Heat past Magic, 106-91
The Associated Press | February 02,2014
Miami Heat forward LeBron James dribbles the ball in front of New York’s Carmelo Anthony during Saturday’s game.
NEW YORK — LeBron James had 30 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and the Miami Heat avoided a winless season in the Big Apple with a 106-91 victory Saturday night that snapped the New York Knicks’ four-game winning streak.
Dwyane Wade added 22 points for the Heat, who avoided becoming the first team to go 0-4 in New York this season after losing their previous trip to Madison Square Garden earlier this month and both games in Brooklyn.
Bouncing back from a home loss to Oklahoma City on Wednesday, the Heat built a series of comfortable leads, let the Knicks cut into a few of them, and then pulled away for good in the fourth.
Carmelo Anthony had 26 points and eight rebounds for the Knicks, who had been 4-1 against the Heat over the last two seasons but were overmatched in this one. They finished 4-4 on their eight-game homestand, which matched the longest in franchise history.
Unable to stop leading scorer Kevin Durant on Wednesday, the Heat made things tough all night for No. 2 Anthony, whose most memorable play was an open-court tackle of James that would’ve looked good in Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Even with that event in town, James was one of the biggest stars in the city and Saturday’s game drew a crowd filled with stars from sports, such as David Beckham and Evander Holyfield, and entertainment, with Grammy Award winner Macklemore and actors Hugh Jackman and Ricky Gervais among the 19,812 fans.
James showed them his all-around game, finishing off the decisive 12-2 run with a pair of baskets as Miami turned an 84-79 lead into a 96-81 cushion.
The Knicks were trying to match their longest winning streak, having defeated Charlotte, the Lakers, Boston and Cleveland over the previous eight nights. None, obviously, is anywhere near Miami’s class, and New York simply made too many of the types of mistakes that teams can’t afford against the NBA champions.
The Heat were only 5-5 over their previous 10 games, but showed how dangerous they remain when their defense is right and James and Wade are able to get into transition.
Wade shot 10 for 15 against a Knicks team that played its second straight game without Iman Shumpert, who has a sprained right shoulder and would’ve been New York’s best hope in defending the Heat’s All-Star guard.
Shane Battier scored a season-high 16 points as Miami shot 54 percent.
Miami closed the first quarter with a 10-2 run and led 29-22 behind 11 points from Battier. The Heat seemed firmly in control in the second, opening a 46-32 lead on James’ follow shot with 5:44 to play. They still led by double digits with under a minute to play after Anthony had an 0-for-3 trip to the line with 1:37 remaining, but baskets by Kenyon Martin and Tyson Chandler cut it to 53-46 at the break.
WIZARDS 96, THUNDER 81
WASHINGTON — John Wall scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half and the Washington Wizards took advantage of a rare off-game from hometown star Kevin Durant in a win over the Thunder on Saturday night that stopped Oklahoma City’s 10-game winning streak.
Two days after being selected to the All-Star game for the first time, Wall also had 15 assists and six steals and went 7 for 11 from the field after halftime, more than making up for an 0-for-7 first half. Trevor Ariza added 18 points and did a solid job defending Durant, whose 26 points came on 8-for-21 shooting, including 0 for 6 from 3-point range, along with five turnovers.
The victory moved the Wizards to .500 for the seventh time this season. A win Monday against Portland would give Washington a winning record for the first time since October 2009.
PACERS 97, NETS 96
INDIANAPOLIS — Paul George and Roy Hibbert both had 20 points, and Indiana overcame an early deficit to beat Brooklyn.
Lance Stephenson, left out of the All-Star game despite leading the NBA in triple-doubles, added 14 points for the Pacers (36-10), who improved the league’s best home record to 22-2. David West had 17 points and George Hill scored 10.
Shaun Livingston had a season-high 24 points for the Nets, who couldn’t hold an early seven-point lead against the Eastern Conference leaders.
SPURS 95, KINGS 93
SAN ANTONIO — Tim Duncan had 23 points and 17 rebounds, Tony Parker added 18 points and 10 assists, and San Antonio snapped a three-game slide by rallying past skidding Sacramento.
Patty Mills scored 15 points and Boris Diaw added 14 for San Antonio.
Isaiah Thomas had 26 points, Rudy Gay scored 23 and Derrick Williams added 14 for Sacramento, which has lost seven straight.
After being outplayed by Gay and Thomas for much of the game, the veteran Spurs took over down the stretch to end their longest losing streak of the season.
Parker and Duncan scored San Antonio’s final eight points.
ROCKETS 106, CAVALIERS 92
HOUSTON — James Harden returned from injury to score 28 points and Jeremy Lin had his first career triple-double to lead Houston to its third straight win with the victory over Cleveland.
Dwight Howard added 26 points and Lin came off the bench to tally 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists.
Harden sat out the last two games with a bruised left thumb. It showed no signs of bothering him Saturday, when he also had four assists and three rebounds.
Luol Deng had 24 points and Kyrie Irving added 21 points and seven assists for Cleveland, which lost its fourth straight game.
PISTONS 113, 76ERS 96
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — Andre Drummond had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Detroit’s talented frontcourt overwhelmed short-handed Philadelphia.
Greg Monroe added 21 points and 12 rebounds. He and Drummond combined to go 18 of 21 from the field. Brandon Jennings and Kyle Singler added 20 points apiece for Detroit.
Philadelphia was without rookie of the year candidate Michael Carter-Williams, who sat out with a sore right shoulder. Tony Wroten led the 76ers with 18 points.
The Pistons have won back-to-back games at The Palace for the first time since their first two home games of the season. Detroit is 9-15 at home.
HAWKS 120, TIMBERWOLVES 113
ATLANTA — Kyle Korver scored 24 points, including a trio of 3-pointers in a third-quarter stretch that gave Atlanta the lead, and the Hawks overcame Kevin Love’s 43 points to beat Minnesota.
Paul Millsap, guarded by Love much of the night in a matchup of All-Stars, had 20 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out late in the game.
A jam by Minnesota’s Corey Brewer with 2:55 remaining cut Atlanta’s lead to 107-104. Jeff Teague, who had 19 points, drove for a layup and DeMarre Carroll’s free throws pushed the lead to seven points.
Love’s 3-pointer again trimmed the margin to three before Atlanta’s Gustavo Ayon banked in an unlikely scoop shot to thwart the comeback attempt.
PELICANS 88, BULLS 79
NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis scored 24 points and grabbed eight rebounds to lead New Orleans past Chicago.
Tyreke Evans added 11 points for the Pelicans, who have won four of their past five games.
D.J. Augustin scored 23 points, Taj Gibson added 17 and Joakim Noah had 14 for Chicago.
Davis also blocked six shots and the Pelicans dominated in the paint, outscoring the Bulls 50-34.
New Orleans led 50-39 at the half, and with Davis dominating the middle the Pelicans maintained a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
GRIZZLIES 99, BUCKS 90
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Nick Calathes, subbing for an injured Mike Conley, scored a career-high 22 points and the surging Grizzlies defeated the Bucks.
Zach Randolph had 23 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, which won its season-best sixth straight and 11 of 12 overall. Marc Gasol had 19 points and James Johnson scored 14.
Brandon Knight led Milwaukee with 23 points, including 18 in the second half. Knight also had seven assists and six rebounds. Ersan Ilyasova finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who have lost six in a row. Khris Middleton scored 12 points, while Larry Sanders and Caron Butler finished with 10 each.
SUNS 105, BOBCATS 95
PHOENIX — Goran Dragic scored 25 points and Phoenix made almost 57 percent of its shots through three quarters to defeat Charlotte.
Marcus Morris added 15 points for the Suns, who have won five straight games and seven of their last eight. It’s the second time the Suns have won five in a row, matching their longest winning streak of the season.
Phoenix held Charlotte to 14 second-quarter points, the lowest total in that quarter for an opponent this season.
The Suns limited Al Jefferson, Charlotte’s leading scorer, to just 10 points after he’d logged three straight 30-point games. He was 4 of 15 from the field and didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Reserve Anthony Tolliver led the Bobcats with 14 points and Jannero Pargo added 12 points and six assists.