Pacers 90, Heat 84
Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and Paul George had 15 of his 17 points during a second-half rally to lead the host Pacers past Miami Tuesday night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference’s top two teams.
Indiana improved its league-best record to 19-3 and extended its lead to three full games by beating Miami at home for the fourth straight time.
LeBron James led the Heat with 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists but had only three baskets and nine points over the final 36 minutes. Dwyane Wade also scored 17 for Miami, which has now lost three of five.
The Heat led by 13 in the first half and didn’t trail until Hibbert completed a three-point play with 6:12 left in the third quarter to put the Pacers ahead 58-57. But with George heating up, Hibbert dominating the middle and Indiana’s bench playing solid, Miami couldn’t tie it or take the lead again.
Nets 104, Celtics 96
Deron Williams scored a season-high 25 points in his return to the lineup, Brook Lopez added 24, and the host Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics in the first matchup for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett against their former team.
Garnett had 11 points, just his third time in double figures this season, and grabbed nine rebounds. Pierce finished with four points and seven rebounds in his first appearance off the bench in six years after making a quick recovery from a broken right hand.
Avery Bradley scored 22 points and Jeff Green had 19 for the Celtics.
Timberwolves 121, Pistons 94
Kevin Love had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a rout of the host Detroit Pistons.
Love only played 30 minutes, sitting out the fourth quarter with the big lead. Detroit was unable to stop him inside, outside or on the break. Several of his seven assists came on his trademark 70-foot outlet passes off missed shots.
Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin added 18 points each for Minnesota, which finished with six players in double figures.
Brandon Jennings had 20 points for Detroit, but Greg Monroe and Andre Drummond were held to a combined total of 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The Pistons have relied heavily on their frontcourt this season, but didn’t have the advantage in that matchup against Minnesota.
Spurs 116, Raptors 103
Manu Ginobili scored 16 points, Tony Parker had 15 and the San Antonio Spurs beat the host Toronto Raptors.
Tim Duncan scored 14 points and Aron Baynes had a career-best 14 as the Spurs overcame a 14-point first quarter deficit to win their sixth straight over the Raptors, improving to 26-9 all-time against Toronto.
San Antonio has won three of six since its 11-game winning streak was halted with a loss at Oklahoma City on Nov. 27.
Danny Green had 14 points for the Spurs, while Marco Belinelli had 12 and Patty Mills 11.
Thunder 101, Hawks 92
Kevin Durant scored 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the 11th time in 12 games, holding off the host Atlanta Hawks.
Shelvin Mack scored 17 points off the bench to lead an Atlanta comeback but finally cooled off at the end. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 23 points. Russell Westbrook was held to 14 points on 6-of-21 shooting.