Suns hold off the Heat for 12th win in a row
After squandering most of a 25-point lead, the Phoenix Suns restored order to win their 12th in a row, 99-89, Wednesday night over the Dwyane Wade-less Heat at Miami.
Playing without Wade (oral surgery) and Shaquille O’Neal (knee), the Heat trailed, 88-63, with 9:52 left before scoring 22 of the next 24 points in a rally featuring 11 points by Jason Kapono.
But the Suns’ Steve Nash, who had 18 points and 11 assists, ended the threat with a three-point basket. Shawn Marion added 23 points and 13 rebounds for Phoenix, which has the second-longest winning streak in franchise history and finished a 5-0 trip for the first time since April 1998.
“We should have opened the game and closed it,” Marion said of the Heat’s rally. “This is their home court. They’re not an NBA team if they just sit down.”
Alonzo Mourning had 19 points for the defending NBA champion Heat, which fell to 9-12 overall and 4-7 at home.
Chicago 99, Seattle 84 -- Ben Wallace had a season-high 15 points and 20 rebounds and the host Bulls took a 28-12 first-quarter lead en route to their ninth victory in 10 games.
Rashard Lewis scored 18 points for Seattle.
Boston 101, Philadelphia 81 -- Paul Pierce and Ryan Gomes scored 18 points apiece and the visiting Celtics used a 12-2 third-quarter run to win their third in a row and send the 76ers to their ninth straight loss.
Kevin Ollie had 14 points for the 76ers, who have lost nine straight for the first time since a 13-game losing streak in 1996-97.
Washington 120, Denver 91 -- Gilbert Arenas led six Wizards in double figures with 34 points at Washington and the Wizards had little trouble winning for the fourth time in five games.
Carmelo Anthony led Denver with 37 points.
Toronto 91, Orlando 84 -- Rookie Andrea Bargnani had a season-high 23 points and started the fourth quarter by making three of his five three-point shots to help the visiting Raptors end a four-game losing streak.
Carlos Arroyo scored 22 points for Orlando, losers of four of its last five games.
San Antonio 95, Minnesota 82 -- Tim Duncan scored 24 points and the host Spurs forced the Timberwolves into 17 of their 23 turnovers in the second half while holding them to a season-low 26 points in half.
Kevin Garnett and Mark Blount each had 19 points for Minnesota.
Portland 85, Memphis 79 -- Zach Randolph scored 21 points, including two free throws with 2.9 seconds left, to help the Trail Blazers end a six-game trip with three straight wins.
Mike Miller led Memphis with 20 points.
Indiana 101, Detroit 90 -- Jermaine O’Neal had 26 points and 14 rebounds and the Pacers scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter in winning their fifth straight at home.
Chauncey Billups had 22 points for Detroit.
Cleveland 104, Charlotte 101 -- LeBron James scored 22 points and Larry Hughes made a crucial steal and two free throws in the final 30 seconds for the Cavaliers at Cleveland. Rookie Adam Morrison led Charlotte with 16 points.
New Jersey 108, Milwaukee 95 -- Vince Carter scored 36 points and Jason Kidd registered his 80th career triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Nets at East Rutherford, N.J.
Charlie Villanueva had 23 points for Milwaukee, which couldn’t overcome leading scorer Michael Redd’s season-low nine points on three-for-13 shooting.
New York 94, Atlanta 82 -- Eddy Curry had 20 points and nine rebounds and the Knicks took the lead for good with a 12-3 first-half run at New York.
Marvin Williams led Atlanta with 23 points.