Hornets 118, Bulls 103
Kemba Walker scored 31 points and Dwight Howard added 24 after returning from a first-quarter back injury as host Charlotte beat Chicago on Tuesday night to win its season-best fifth game in a row.
Zach LaVine led seven Bulls players in double-digits with 21 points as Chicago (20-41) dropped its fifth consecutive game.
The Hornets improved to 28-33. Charlotte sank 53.7 percent of its field-goal attempts, and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.
Walker hit 11-of-19 attempts -- including 6-of-10 of 3-pointers -- while Howard missed only two shots in 12 attempts. Nicolas Batum also added 10 points, 12 assist and seven rebounds.
Howard suffered a back strain after playing 10 minutes in the first quarter. When he was removed from the game, he walked straight to the locker room.
He did not re-emerge until just before the second half tipped off.
Sparked by 16 third-quarter points from Howard, the Hornets hit 14-of-20 attempts (70 percent) in that period to take an 87-78 lead.
They came alive midway through the quarter, when a thundering Howard dunk was waived off, occurring after a foul, referees indicated. The crowd booed, and the Hornets were inspired. From there, Walker sank two 3s and Nicolas Batum had another in a 13-5 run that gave them a 71-63 advantage with 5:12 remaining in the third.
The Hornets lost two players to injury in the first half: starting forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist suffered a strained left hamstring and backup center Cody Zeller experienced a sore left knee. Neither player returned.
Heat 102, 76ers 101
Dwyane Wade scored a season-high 27 points, the last of those coming on a jumper that gave the Heat their only lead of the fourth quarter with 5.9 seconds left, and Miami rallied to beat visiting Philadelphia.
Wade had 15 of his points in the fourth quarter, and the Heat won a game where they never led by more than three.
Goran Dragic scored 21 for the Heat, who got 16 points from Tyler Johnson and 15 points and 11 rebounds from Hassan Whiteside.
Joel Embiid scored 23 points for Philadelphia, which got 21 from Dario Saric. The 76ers led by as many as 10 in the fourth and had a chance to win at the buzzer, but JJ Redick’s wide-open 3-point try bounced off the rim.
Wizards 107, Bucks 104
Bradley Beal scored 21 points, hitting a clutch 3-pointer and a free throw down the stretch, to help Washington beat host Milwaukee.
Otto Porter Jr. added 17 points and Markieff Morris 14 for Washington.
The Bucks lost a chance at clinching the season series with the Wizards who hold the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 23 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and Jabbari Parker had a season-high 19 points for Milwaukee.
NBA: Hornets beat Bulls 118-103; Heat rally to edge 76ers 102-101
Hornets 118, Bulls 103