Nets 96, Heat 95
Paul Pierce scored 17 of his 29 points in the third quarter, Mirza Teletovic scored 17 off the bench and the visiting Brooklyn Nets beat Miami for the third time in as many tries this season. 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.
Nuggets 120, Magic 112
Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler added 21 points and 10 rebounds to rally the visiting Denver Nuggets. JJ Hickson had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets, who ended a two-game losing streak.
Arron Afflalo led Orlando with 24 points.
Raptors 101, Pistons 87
DeMar DeRozan scored 25 points, Amir Johnson had 20 against his former team and the Toronto Raptors handed Detroit its 10th consecutive road defeat.
Kyle Lowry added 19 points for the Atlantic Division-leading Raptors, who won for the fourth time in five meetings with Detroit.
Bobcats 98, Wizards 85
Al Jefferson had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Gerald Henderson went 6-for-9 in his return from a calf injury to lead the visiting Charlotte Bobcats. 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. John Wall scored 23 points to lead the Wizards, but he went scoreless in the fourth.
Knicks 116, Celtics 92
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 of his 34 points in the first half as the visiting New York Knicks opened a 24-point lead and coasted to their fifth consecutive win. Tim Hardaway Jr. added 22 points for the Knicks, who are making a charge for the Eastern Conference’s eighth-and-final playoff spot.
Kings 115, 76ers 98
Rudy Gay scored 27 points, Isaiah Thomas added 20 and the Sacramento Kings extended the host Philadelphia 76ers’ losing streak to 18 games. Henry Sims posted career-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds for Philadelphia.
Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88
Mike Conley hit a driving layup against Austin Rivers with 1.5 seconds remaining to complete the visiting Memphis Grizzlies’ comeback. Conley’s basket closed a 9-0 Grizzlies run to end the game. Anthony Davis scored 29 points for the Pelicans.
Mavericks 108, Jazz 101
Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and moved into sole possession of the No. 12 spot on the all-time NBA scoring list in the Dallas Mavericks’ win. The big German made 12-of-14 from the field and all four of his 3-point attempts to help the Mavs snap a three-game road losing skid.