March 19 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Wednesday's National Basketball Association games.
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Knicks 92, Pacers 86
The New York Knicks welcomed new president Phil Jackson by running their winning streak to seven games with a rousing victory over the Indiana Pacers.
Jackson, who was named to the position on Tuesday, received a standing ovation from the Garden crowd during the game as Carmelo Anthony led the Knicks (28-40) on the court with 34 points and forward Amar'e Stoudemire added 21.
Lance Stephenson had 21 points for the Pacers (50-18), who remained three games ahead of Miami for the lead in the Eastern Conference.
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Celtics 101, Heat 96
The Boston Celtics took advantage of LeBron James' absence caused by back spasms by beating Miami 101-96 to end a five-game losing streak.
The victory gave Boston (23-46) a 2-1 win in the season series after the teams split two games in Miami.
Boston's Avery Bradley scored 23 points, while Dwyane Wade led the Heat (46-20) with 17 points, but he shot just 2-for-9 from the floor in the second half.
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Timberwolves 123, Mavericks 122 (overtime)
Desperate to remain relevant in the Western Conference playoff hunt, the Minnesota Timberwolves hung on for dear life in an overtime victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
Kevin Love finished with a game-high 35 points and hit the game-winner with 17.1 seconds left, stepping between two defenders and sinking a one-handed wrister.
Dirk Nowitzki had 27 for Dallas.
The Timberwolves (34-32) are 5 1/2 games behind the Mavericks and the Memphis Grizzlies, who are tied for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference.
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Grizzlies 96, Jazz 86
Zach Randolph scored 21 points and Marc Gasol added 20 to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to victory over the Utah Jazz.
The Grizzlies (40-27) earned their eighth consecutive home win and their fifth straight victory over Utah at FedExForum.
The Jazz (22-47) lost their sixth straight and fell to 8-28 on the road.
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Nuggets 118, Pistons 109
Aaron Brooks scored a season-high 27 points and dished out a career-high 17 assists, and the Denver Nuggets overcame the absence of two starters to beat the struggling Detroit Pistons.
The game featured two ailing teams. Detroit (25-42) center Andre Drummond was out with a neck injury while the Nuggets were missing two of their best players.
Guard Ty Lawson (sinus infection) and forward Wilson Chandler (hip) were out, leaving Denver (31-37) looking very much like a roster that lost eight of nine last month.
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Raptors 107, Pelicans 100
Former New Orleans point guard Greivis Vasquez scored five points in 37 seconds and DeMar DeRozan scored a game-high 31 points to lift the Toronto Raptors to victory over the Pelicans.
Vasquez, traded in the offseason, broke a 94-94 tie with a patented floater on the right side of the lane with 1:58 left and continued a run that led Toronto (38-29) to victory.
New Orleans (27-40), playing without forward Anthony Davis, who was sidelined with an upper respiratory infection, placed six players in double figures.
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Bulls 102, 76ers 94
Jimmy Butler hit a tie-breaking three-pointer with 6:49 left and the Chicago Bulls pulled away to hand the Philadelphia 76ers their 22nd consecutive loss.
The Sixers (15-53) are now four defeats away from equaling the NBA record of 26 in a row, established by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.
D.J. Augustin led Chicago (38-30) with 20 points.
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Nets 104, Bobcats 99
Led by Deron Williams, who scored a game-high 25 points, the Brooklyn Nets had six players score in double figures in a win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
The Nets (35-31) won their season-best 10th straight game at Barclays Center.
Al Jefferson had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Bobcats (33-36).
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Spurs 125, Lakers 109
Tony Parker scored 25 points and the San Antonio Spurs won their 11th in a row with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Spurs (51-16), who have the NBA's best record, defeated the Lakers for the seventh consecutive time and the third time this season.
The Lakers' loss came on the heels of Los Angeles suffering its worst defeat (119-85) to the Spurs on Friday. The Lakers dropped three straight and six of their last seven games
Kawhi Leonard finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio.
Xavier Henry had 24 to lead the Lakers (22-45) who have lost three straight.
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Suns 109, Magic 93
Goran Dragic scored 18 points, and guard Gerald Green hit three three -pointers during a 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter as the Phoenix Suns finally ran away from the Orlando Magic.
Green finished with 14 points as Phoenix (39-29) collected 25 fast-break points to wear down the road-weary Magic (19-50).
Orlando fell to an NBA worst 4-32 away from home this season. (Editing by John O'Brien)