NEW ORLEANS — LeBron James scored 36 points, hitting six consecutive 3-pointers in less than six minutes during the first half, and the Miami Heat rebounded from their first loss in nearly two months to beat the New Orleans Hornets 108-89 on Friday night.
The Heat, whose 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago on Wednesday, looked ready to start a new one while clinching the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs. James kept shooting 3-pointers after making his first one with 1:55 left in the first quarter, and he did not miss until he already had set a season high with his sixth.
James finished with seven 3s, one shy of his career high. Dwyane Wade added 17 points and seven assists. Norris Cole scored 12 points and Chris Bosh 10.
TIMBERWOLVES 101, THUNDER 93
MINNEAPOLIS — Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help Minnesota stun Oklahoma City.
Chase Budinger scored 13 points off the bench and Andrei Kirilenko played superb defense on Thunder star Kevin Durant in the second half to help the
Wolves deal the Thunder an unexpected setback in their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Durant had 36 points and seven rebounds, but was just 4 for 9 in the final 22 minutes. Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder.
CELTICS 118, HAWKS 107
BOSTON — Paul Pierce had 20 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds, and Jeff Green scored 27 points to carry Boston to the victory over Atlanta.
Jason Terry was 5 of 7 on 3-pointers and finished with 24 points for Boston, which won its second straight following a five-game losing streak.
Josh Smith led the Hawks with 18 points but shot just 7 of 23 from the floor and 0 for 6 in the second half. Jeff Teague added 17 points and seven assists.
The Celtics, who closed to 1½ games behind the Hawks for the Eastern Conference’s sixth playoff spot, won the season series 3-1.
GRIZZLIES 103, ROCKETS 94
MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 21 points apiece and Memphis snapped a two-game losing streak.
Randolph added 12 rebounds, Tony Allen scored 16 points, connecting on 8 of 12 shots, and Mike Conley finished with 15 points and 10 assists.
Allen also had a strong defensive effort in limiting the Rockets’ James Harden to seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. Harden came into the game fifth in the league in scoring with a 26.2 average.
Chandler Parsons and Donatas Motiejunas led the Rockets with 16 points apiece, despite not playing in the fourth quarter as Houston coach Kevin McHale used his reserves to try to put more pressure on the Grizzlies defensively. Carlos Delfino had 15 points for Houston, while James Anderson scored 10.
KNICKS 111, BOBCATS 102
NEW YORK — J.R. Smith scored 37 points, his third consecutive 30-point outing, and New York beat Charlotte for its season-high seventh straight victory.
Carmelo Anthony had 32 points and Raymond Felton added 18 for the Knicks, who have the longest current streak in the NBA. They built a 30-point lead that was reduced to single digits for the second game in a row.
Gerald Henderson tied a career high with 35 points for the Bobcats. Kemba Walker added 16, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 14 and Ben Gordon finished with 12.
Smith had 23 points at halftime, shooting 9 of 11 from the field.
MAGIC 97, WIZARDS 92
ORLANDO, Florida — Tobias Harris had 30 points and 11 rebounds to help the Orlando Magic break an eight-game losing streak.
Maurice Harkless added 18 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while reserves E’Twaun Moore and Andrew Nicholson scored 15 and 14, respectively, for Orlando.
John Wall led the Wizards with 35 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Martell Webster was the only other Wizard in double figures, scoring 19.
Harris had the key basket, a 15-foot floater that gave the Magic a 93-88 lead with 1:22 left in the game.
Wall made two free throws to get the Wizards within 93-90, but after the Magic missed Wall couldn’t convert at the other end and the Magic sealed the win from the free throw line.
76ERS 97, CAVALIERS 87
CLEVELAND — Evan Turner scored 23 points and Philadelphia sent Cleveland to its season-high seventh straight loss.
Jrue Holiday had 20 points and Thaddeus Young added 18 for the Sixers, who are 2-16 on the road since Jan. 2. Philadelphia used a 20-2 run that began late in the second quarter and extended into the third to take control of the game. Turner, who had three points at halftime, scored 13 in the first seven
minutes of the third quarter.
C.J. Miles scored 19 points for Cleveland, which had lost six in a row on two previous occasions. The Cavaliers played again without their starting backcourt of Kyrie Irving (bruised shoulder) and Dion Waiters (sore knee).
RAPTORS 99, PISTONS 82
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan — DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay scored 21 points apiece and Toronto ended a five-game slide by extending Detroit’s home losing streak to eight games.
The Raptors led 46-45 at the break and took control by outscoring Detroit 23-5 in the first eight minutes of the third period. Gay, who had just two points at halftime, scored 19 points during the third.
Amir Johnson added 20 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Jonas Jerebko scored 20 points to lead the Pistons, who also got 17 from rookie Andre Drummond.