March 12 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Basketball Association games.
Nets 96, Heat 95
Paul Pierce scored 29 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Miami Heat to improve to a perfect 3-0 against the two-time NBA champions this season.
The Nets (33-20) held on in a close finish.
On the final possession, Miami's Chris Bosh tried an inbounds pass to LeBron James in the lane, but Nets guard Shaun Livingston deflected the ball to allow Brooklyn to get the game's final stop.
The Heat (44-18) were led by forwards Bosh (24 points), guard Dwyane Wade (22 points) and LeBron James (19 points) but they fell two games behind the idle Indiana Pacers in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
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Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88
Mike Conley scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half, including a running one-hander in the lane with 1.5 seconds left, to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Grizzlies (38-26) won their fourth consecutive game by holding the Pelicans (26-38) to 31 points on 11-of-32 shooting (34.3 percent) in the second half.
The Pelicans got 29 points and 10 rebounds from forward Anthony Davis, but he scored just seven in the second half.
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Knicks 116, Celtics 92
Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the short-handed New York Knicks continued their belated playoff push with a victory over the Boston Celtics.
Playing without Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin, New York (26-40) won their fifth straight to move within three games of the idle Atlanta Hawks for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
Jeff Green scored 17 points in the third quarter and 19 of his 27 in the second half as the Celtics (22-43) lost their second straight and fell for the ninth time in 12 games.
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Bobcats 98, Wizards 85
Center Al Jefferson scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the surging Charlotte Bobcats pulled away in the fourth quarter for a victory over the Washington Wizards.
Neither team led by more than six until Charlotte (31-34) took control with 11 straight points in the final period.
Guard John Wall scored 23 points for the Wizards, though none came in the fourth quarter. Washington (33-31) lost their second game in a row and fell to 16-16 at home this season.
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Nuggets 120, Magic 112
Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler 21 in leading the Denver Nuggets to a victory over the Orlando Magic.
Reserve J.J Hickson had 20 points and nine rebounds in just 22 minutes, giving the Nuggets (28-36) a big spark early in the fourth period.
The Magic (19-47) were led by guard Arron Afflalo, who had 24 points.
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Raptors 101, Pistons 87
DeMar DeRozan led the way with a game-high 25 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Detroit Pistons.
Toronto (36-27) opened an 18-point lead to start the third thanks to a 13-2 run led by Kyle Lowry and never looked back. Lowy finished with 19 points.
The loss extends the Pistons' (25-40) losing road streak to 10 games.
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Kings 115, Sixers 98
Rudy Gay scored 27 points as the Sacramento Kings handed the Philadelphia 76ers an 18th straight defeat.
Isaiah Thomas added 20 points for the Kings (23-42), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
The Sixers (15-49) losing streak is the second-longest in franchise history, exceeded only by a 20-game skid by the 1972-73 squad, which went 9-73.
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Clippers 111, Warriors 98
With forward Blake Griffin leading the way again, the Los Angeles Clippers extended their winning streak to a season-high nine games with a victory over the Golden State Warriors.
Griffin finished with 30 points and 15 rebounds as Los Angeles (46-20) halted the Warriors' winning streak at five games. Griffin, who also had three steals and another highlight-reel dunk, scored at least 20 points for a career-best 24th consecutive game.
Klay Thompson led the Warriors (41-25) with 26 points.
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Spurs 103, Trail Blazers 90
Spurs guards Patty Mills had 15 points and Danny Green 14 as they helped San Antonio extend its win streak to eight with a win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
San Antonio (48-16) split the season series with Portland 2-2.
Trail Blazers big man LaMarcus Aldridge took a hard fall early in the third quarter while driving to the basket and landed on his back. He suffered a back contusion and did not return.
The Blazers fell to 42-23.
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Mavericks 108, Jazz 101
Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points and moved into 12th place on the NBA's all-time scoring list while lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a win over the Utah Jazz.
Nowitzki made a blistering 12 of 14 shots on the night, including a fade-away 3-pointer with 1:54 remaining that all but clinched the win for Dallas (39-27).
Monta Ellis finished with 16 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds to help Dallas (39-27) maintain its position in the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
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Cavaliers 110, Suns 101
One of six Cleveland players in double figures, guard Kyrie Irving scored 23 points and added nine rebounds and six assists as the Cavaliers snapped a four-game losing streak.
Guard Goran Dragic scored 20 points and forward Marcus Morris added 18 points off the bench for the Suns (36-28) in their third straight loss.
(Compiled by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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