Heat break road blues with tight win over Clippers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Miami cured its road woes with a 116-112 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, with Ray Allen hitting the clinching 3-pointer in the final minute of the showdown between NBA divisional leaders.
Two other divisional leaders — Oklahoma City and San Antonio — also won, with the Thunder proving too good for an understrength Minnesota, while the Spurs needed double overtime to beat Washington for the 16th straight time. In another key game, Houston beat Phoenix to move above the Clippers and into fourth place in the Western Conference.
Miami’s LeBron James had 31 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds while Allen had 15 points off the bench for the Heat, which had lost its previous five road games. This contest was the start of another six-game trip which will be interrupted by the All-Star break.
Miami had not beaten the Clippers at Staples Center since 2007-08 but took a narrow victory this time despite Blake Griffin scoring a season-high 43 points with 12 rebounds for Los Angeles.
Oklahoma City maintained its three-game lead atop the Western Conference by beating Minnesota 106-97.
Kevin Durant had 26 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while Reggie Jackson added 20 points and nine assists for the Thunder, which became the first team to reach 40 wins this season. They have won eight-straight home games and are 15-1 there against Western Conference teams.
The Timberwolves were without Kevin Love and two other starters, and were led by Ricky Rubio’s 19 points.
Houston’s Dwight Howard had 34 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Rockets past Phoenix 122-108.
James Harden added 23 points for the Rockets, who have won four successive games.
Goran Dragic had 23 points and eight assists for the Suns, which fell into a tie with idle Golden State for second place in the Pacific Division.
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan scored a season-high 31 points before fouling out in the second overtime, and the Spurs squeezed past Washington 125-118.
Patty Mills scored 11 of his 23 points in the two overtimes for the Spurs, who have not lost to the Wizards since 2005-06. The 16 consecutive wins is the longest active streak between any two teams, one more than Miami’s 15-game domination of Charlotte.
San Antonio’s Tony Parker left at halftime with tightness in his lower back and did not return.
Dallas used a second-half surge to overcome Memphis 110-96, with Dirk Nowitzki finishing with 26 points.
Nowitzki was 10 of 14 from the field, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc, to help the Mavericks win their third straight. Brandan Wright added 17 points.
Zack Randolph scored 25 points for Memphis.
Portland overcame some poor shooting by its All Stars and beat New York 94-90.
Nicolas Batum had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Wesley Matthews scored 18 points for the Trail Blazers, whose All Stars LaMarcus Aldridge and Damian Lillard shot a combined 9 of 29 from the floor.
Carmelo Anthony scored 26 points on 11-of-28 shooting for the Knicks.
New Orleans’ Anthony Davis had 27 points and 10 rebounds as the Pelicans beat Atlanta 105-100.
Sacramento held off Toronto 109-101, with DeMarcus Cousins and Rudy Gay combining for 49 points and 20 rebounds.
The Los Angeles Lakers beat Cleveland 119-108 in a game that will be remembered for its bizarre ending, with the Lakers forced to leave Robert Sacre on the court despite having fouled out because they had no fit players left. The Lakers were assessed a technical foul.
Denver’s Wilson Chandler scored seven of his 24 points in the final 1:52 to guide the Nuggets to a 110-100 win over Milwaukee.
Orlando rookie Victor Oladipo came off the bench to score 20 points and help the Magic defeat Detroit 112-98.
Josh Smith scored 25 points for Detroit.
Boston’s Jeff Green scored 17 of his 36 points in the third quarter to lead the Celtics to a 114-108 win over Philadelphia.