NBA: Durant leads Thunder past Heat
MIAMI (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook added 18 and the Oklahoma City Thunder frustrated Miami’s offense all night on the way to a 96-85 win over the Heat on Wednesday night.
James Harden scored 12 points for the Thunder, who have won five straight.
Chris Bosh had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 21 points and LeBron James finished with 19 for the Heat, who had won three straight and were averaging 114 points in their last two games. The Thunder held them to 38.5 percent shooting from the floor.
It was the first time Durant beat a James-led team in seven career meetings.
Celtics 92, Pacers 80
BOSTON (AP) – Jeff Green scored 13 of his 19 points in the second quarter, and Boston coasted past Indiana and moved back into a first-place tie in the Eastern Conference.
The victory left the Celtics and Chicago Bulls (48-18) with the same record in the race for home-court advantage through the conference finals. Boston had lost three of four to fall out of the top spot.
Josh McRoberts had 14 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana. Tyler Hansbrough, who had back-to-back career highs in a pair of victories against the New York Knicks this week, was 4 for 14, scoring 10 and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Magic 93, Bucks 89, OT
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Dwight Howard had 31 points and 22 rebounds to lead Orlando to an overtime victory over Milwaukee that wrapped up a winning five-game road trip.
Hedo Turkoglu scored eight of his 19 points in overtime in a game that turned out to be far from easy for Orlando, even though the Bucks were missing center Andrew Bogut due to a migraine headache.
The Magic went 20 of 35 from the free throw line, with Howard tying a career high with 24 attempts. He made only 13 of them. The misses, as well as two bad plays by Jameer Nelson down the stretch, nearly cost Orlando.
Brandon Jennings scored 23 points and John Salmons scored 20 of his 22 in the second half and overtime.
Nuggets 102, Hawks 87
ATLANTA (AP) – Nene scored 20 points, J.R. Smith added all of his 15 in the fourth quarter, and Denver ran away to another win, beating Atlanta.
It looked as if the game would go down to the wire when Zaza Pachulia flipped in a putback, pulling the Hawks to 72-69 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
But Denver dominated the rest of the way, outscoring the home team 30-18. The Nuggets hardly missed in the fourth quarter, making 12 of 18 from the field – including four 3-pointers.
Smith knocked down three of those, part of a 6-of-7 fourth quarter after he took only three shots – and missed them all – over the first three quarters.
Hornets 100, Suns 95
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Chris Paul had 26 points and nine assists, and New Orleans extended Phoenix’s losing streak to four.
Emeka Okafor had 16 points and 11 rebounds for New Orleans. David West added 16 points, including an 18-foot jumper to give the Hornets a 95-88 lead with 29.5 seconds to go.
The Hornets led by as much as 19 in the third quarter but had to hold on against a Suns squad that made 14 3-pointers.
Phoenix was as close as 93-88 when Grant Hill rolled in a 14-footer with 3 minutes left, but New Orleans did not allow another basket until 21 seconds remained, when Jared Dudley, who had 25 points, hit his fifth 3.
Rockets 94, Bobcats 78
HOUSTON (AP) – Kevin Martin scored 21 points, Chuck Hayes matched his season high with 17 rebounds and Houston never trailed in a victory over Charlotte.
Chase Budinger scored 19 and rookie Patrick Patterson added 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Rockets, who began the night in 11th place in the West, three games behind Memphis for the final playoff spot.
D.J. Augustin scored 22 and Boris Diaw added 13 for the Bobcats, who’ve lost nine of the last 11 meetings with Houston. Charlotte came into the game one-half game behind Indiana in the race for the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Mavericks 112, Warriors 106
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Dirk Nowitzki had 34 points and 13 rebounds, and Dallas rallied from 18 points down to beat Golden State.
Jason Terry scored 19 points and Rodrigue Beaubois had 18 to help the Mavericks score 15 consecutive points in the fourth quarter and pull away for the victory. Dallas (48-20) moved into a tie with the Los Angeles Lakers for second place in the Western Conference.
Monta Ellis had 26 points and 11 assists, and David Lee scored 22 in another disappointing defeat for a Warriors team seemingly headed for the draft lottery. They built a big lead with an incredible shooting start but couldn’t keep pace late.
Jazz 119, Timberwolves 104
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – C.J. Miles scored a career-high 40 points and cemented his new starting role as Utah cruised past Minnesota, giving Ty Corbin his first back-to-back wins as coach.
The game was almost a complete reversal of Friday night’s matchup, when the Timberwolves made their first 11 shots en route to a 121-101 rout in Minnesota.
On Wednesday, Miles hit his first seven shots, including four from 3-point range, for 18 points in the opening quarter. His only miss came at the buzzer with a defender in his face.
Kevin Love led Minnesota with 22 points and 11 rebounds, but he got going too late to help the Timberwolves, who have dropped two straight.
Pistons 107, Raptors 93
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Richard Hamilton scored 24 points, Greg Monroe added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Detroit ended a three-game losing streak by beating Toronto.
Toronto scored the game’s first basket, but never led again.
Tayshaun Prince added 22 points for the Pistons and Rodney Stuckey, Detroit’s leading scorer, had a career-high 14 assists while taking just one shot.
Andrea Bargnani led Toronto with 20 points, while Leandro Barbosa added 18 off the bench.
76ers 104, Clippers 94
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Jodie Meeks scored 22 points and Jrue Holiday added nine of his 20 in the final 6 1/2 minutes, leading Philadelphia over Los Angeles.
Elton Brand had 19 points and 12 rebounds, helping the Sixers tie the idle New York Knicks for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Brand played for the Clippers for six seasons and left for free agency as their career rebounding leader and third-leading scorer.
Randy Foye led Los Angeles with 18 points and DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 15 rebounds.
The 76ers didn’t treat Clippers All-Star rookie Blake Griffin too kindly on his 22nd birthday, forcing him to miss his first six shots and holding him to 14 points on 3 for 12 shooting.
Cavaliers 97, Kings 93
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Ramon Sessions scored 20 points to lead Cleveland to a rare road victory.
Cleveland opened the season by winning three of its first four road games, but had only a March 4 victory in New York since then.
Cleveland, which snapped a four-game losing streak overall, had dropped 28 of 29 road games since Nov. 10.
Marcus Thornton had 23 points for the Kings, who have lost seven of eight. Samuel Dalembert contributed 16 points and 10 rebounds, Francisco Garcia and Beno Udrih both scored 14 points, while rookie DeMarcus Cousins had 11 points and 16 rebounds.