March 8 (The Sports Xchange) - Heat 102, 76ers 93
Miami extended its winning streak to 17 games with a 102-93 victory over Philadelphia on Friday night to become the first team to book a spot in the playoffs.
The victory tied the Clippers' 17-game win streak from Nov. 28-Dec. 30, 2012, as the longest winning streak in the NBA this season.
Down by one point early in the fourth quarter, the Heat scored 10 straight points to take control. LeBron James led all scorers with 25 points for the (46-14).
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Portland 136. San Antonio 106
Damian Lillard had 35 points and nine assists to help the Portland Trail Blazers upset the San Antonio Spurs 136-106.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and J.J. Hickson added 23 points and 11 rebounds as Portland improved to 28-32.
San Antonio (48-15), which had the best record in the NBA until the loss and Miami's win, struggled without its best player, Tony Parker, who is out three weeks.
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Bulls 89, Jazz 88
Marco Belinelli knocked down a 3-pointer from the corner with 5.9 seconds left, lifting the Chicago Bulls to a tense 89-88 victory over Utah at the United Center.
Belinelli's basket answered a tie-breaking jumper by Jazz center Al Jefferson with 51.6 seconds remaining. The go-ahead play began with a wild miss by Belinelli, but after the ball bounced off about six players, Chicago's Jimmy Butler finally won the battle for the offensive rebound and found Belinelli open in the corner.
Belinelli and Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 22 points each. Nate Robinson scored 14 points, while center Joakim Noah survived foul trouble to pull down 13 rebounds.
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Thunder 116, Bobcats 94
Kevin Durant had 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds in just 24 minutes as the Oklahoma City Thunder won their fourth straight by routing the Charlotte Bobcats 116-94.
The Thunder shot 56.8 percent from the field and were 12 of 24 from 3-point range, leading by as many as 29 in a performance that was almost as dominant as a 114-69 win over the Bobcats in Oklahoma City on Nov. 26.
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Pacers 115, Magic 86
The Indiana Pacers did not want to waste a lot of time or energy in Orlando, and they succeeded on both levels, hammering the Magic 115-86.
Indiana put six players in double figures, led by Paul George's 25 points, and takes a little momentum into Sunday's road game against Eastern Conference leader Miami. The Pacers have won both games against the Heat this season.
George scored 18 of his points in the third quarter when the Pacers removed all doubt in a game where there was precious little uncertainty after the first quarter.
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Mavericks 102, Pistons 99
O.J. Mayo had 22 points as the Dallas Mavericks gave away a 15-point, fourth-quarter lead and then rallied for a 102-99 victory over the Detroit Pistons at The Palace.
Brandan Wright scored 14 points and Dirk Nowitzki chipped in 12, including two crucial late baskets. Dallas (28-33), which has won two in a row, got off to a positive start on its four-game road trip.
Forward Shawn Marion was a late scratch because of a left calf injury, prompting coach Rick Carlisle to use his 20th different lineup this season.
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Nets 95, Wizards 78
Deron Williams connected on his first eight attempts from 3-point range and scored 23 of his game-high 42 points in the first quarter to lead the Brooklyn Nets to a 95-78 victory over the Washington Wizards at the Barclays Center.
The victory was the second straight for the Nets (36-26), who had been struggling prior to the two wins. The loss, the second straight for Washington, dropped the Wizards to 19-41 overall.
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Grizzlies 103, Cavaliers 92
Center Marc Gasol scored a team-high 22 points in the Memphis Grizzlies' 103-92 victory over the Cavaliers.
Gasol was a sizzling 11-of-16 from the field and added eight rebounds and five assists. Guard Jerryd Bayless came off the bench to score 11 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies (41-19) have now won 11 of their last 12 games, including three in a row.
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Celtics 107, Hawks 102 (OT)
The Boston Celtics, getting huge play from Paul Pierce and the last five points in overtime from Jason Terry, downed the Atlanta Hawks 107-102.
The win pulled the Celtics into a tie with the Hawks for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams are 34-27, a half-game behind fifth-place Chicago. (Editing by Julian Linden)