PHILADELPHIA -- LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 on Wednesday night.
Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers.
HAWKS 96, LAKERS 92
Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones' foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.
Bryant hobbled off and Kyle Korver knocked down two free throws to clinch it.
GRIZZLIES 96, CLIPPERS 85
Mike Conley had 17 points and 11 assists, and Zach Randolph scored 13 points as the Grizzlies hung on in the fourth quarter of back-to-back games for their sixth straight victory. Memphis followed up last night's road win in Portland with a tenacious effort against the Clippers, who have lost three of five.
Memphis (44-19) is percentage points ahead of Los Angeles (45-21) for third place in the Western Conference, although the Clippers are the Pacific Division leaders.
NUGGETS 117, KNICKS 94
The Nuggets led by as many as 34 points on the way to winning their 10th straight game and 14th straight at home.
This one was such a laugher that their starters didn't play the fourth quarter.
Neither did Anthony, who left a couple of minutes into the second half when his balky right knee, which he acknowledged Tuesday isn't getting better, acted up. He scored just nine points on 3-of-12 shooting.
Iman Shumpert led New York with 20 points.
CELTICS 112, RAPTORS 88
BOSTON -- Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA's career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points to lead Boston.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
Garnett hit a bank shot with 10:03 left in the second quarter and received a standing ovation when his milestone was announced during a stoppage a few minutes later. Boston fans returned to their feet again in the third to recognize Pierce.
Jeff Green scored 20 to lead the Celtics, who ended a two-game slide and won their 10th straight at home.
PACERS 107, TIMBERWOLVES 91
INDIANAPOLIS -- Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Indiana.
The Pacers went on an 8-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 62-54 lead at halftime. They stretched the advantage to 16 late in the third quarter when George hit a fadeaway jumper and then a 3-pointer.
WIZARDS 106, BUCKS 93
WASHINGTON -- John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists to lead Washington past Milwaukee.
Wall and Wizards coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks' comeback.
It was Wall's seventh double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and four steals.
The Wizards have won three straight home games and eight of 11 in Washington.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Bucks.
ROCKETS 111, SUNS 81
HOUSTON -- Donatas Motiejunas scored a career-high 19 points to lead five Houston starters in double figures.
Wesley Johnson scored 10 of his 15 points in the first quarter for the Suns, who lost to Houston for just the fourth time in the last 14 meetings. Luis Scola had four points and four rebounds in his first game in Houston since the Rockets designated him as their amnesty cut last summer.
Houston had all five starters in double figures for the 11th time this season.
THUNDER 110, JAZZ 87
Kevin Martin had 15 points as Oklahoma City improved to 25-8 at home. The Thunder led 29-19 after one quarter and 50-28 at halftime.
Gordon Hayward scored 20 points to lead Utah, and Enes Kanter had 12. The Jazz lost for the eighth time in 10 games, but remained one-half game behind the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth place in the West.
KINGS 121, BULLS 79
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Tyreke Evans had 26 points and seven assists in Sacramento's most lopsided victory of the season.
The Kings opened the second quarter with a 26-4 run against the lethargic Bulls to hike their lead to 34 points. It was an almost error-free first half for the Kings, who committed just one turnover and took a 65-36 lead into intermission.
The Kings shot 54 percent and tied a season low with five turnovers.
WARRIORS 105, PISTONS 97
Jarrett Jack finished with 19 points and five assists off the bench and hit some big shots late to make sure the Warriors avoided a monumental setback. They improved to 4-2 on their season-high, seven-game homestand, which ends Friday against Chicago, and remained 1½ games ahead of Houston for sixth place in the Western Conference.
Rodney Stuckey scored 22 points and Kyle Singler had 16 in Detroit's seventh straight loss. Reserve Will Bynum added 16 points to help fill the void left by Brandon Knight, who sat out with a sprained left ankle.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
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