The Miami Heat tied a franchise record with their 14th straight win, erasing a 14-point halftime deficit in a 99-93 victory over the New York Knicks.
LeBron James scored a team-high 29 points for the Heat, who outscored the Knicks 54-34 during the second half yesterday at Madison Square Garden to beat their Eastern Conference rivals for the first time in three meetings this season.
“We came out with a sense of urgency in the third quarter,” James, who added 11 rebounds and seven assists, said in a televised interview. “It was a big-time game for us. There was a lot of adversity but we were able to stick through the tough patches and get a well-needed road win.”
The Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Los Angeles Clippers 108-104 yesterday in a matchup of Western Conference division leaders as Kevin Durant scored 35 points and Russell Westbrook added 29 points and 10 assists.
The San Antonio Spurs improved their NBA-best record to 47-14 with a 114-75 rout of the Detroit Pistons, while the Indiana Pacers topped the Chicago Bulls 97-92 in a meeting of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference’s Central division.
Miami improved its East-leading record to 43-14 yesterday in New York as Dwyane Wade had 20 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and Chris Bosh scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half. The Knicks fell to 35-21 and lead the Atlantic Division by three games over the Brooklyn Nets.
The Heat limited Carmelo Anthony to eight points in the second half after he contributed 24 before halftime to avenge a pair of earlier losses to the Knicks. New York opened the regular season with a 104-84 win over the Heat and added a 112-92 road victory in December. The teams’ final regular-season encounter is scheduled for April 2 in Miami.
The Knicks turned a five-point first-quarter deficit into a 59-45 halftime lead as they outscored Miami 20-8 in the final five minutes of the second quarter.
A 14-4 scoring run for Miami cut the margin to four points, with the Knicks making one of 10 shots to open the third quarter. Anthony then added two free throws and a layup and J.R. Smith hit a 3-pointer to make it 70-59 to New York.
Trailing 77-73 at the start of the fourth quarter, James made back-to-back 3-pointers to tie it at 79 points apiece.
With the teams tied 87-87, Wade hit a five-foot jumper to give Miami the lead for good. It was part of a 12-4 run that gave the Heat a 97-91 lead, their biggest advantage of the game, with 1:06 remaining.
James assured Miami of a sixth straight road win with a steal and dunk with 23 seconds left.
Miami’s run of 14 victories ranks second in the NBA this season behind a 17-win run for the Los Angeles Clippers. The Heat’s last run of 14 consecutive victories came during the 2004-05 season.
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