Heat 98, Hawks 81
Victory for the Heat at AmericanAirlines Arena was their 19th consecutive victory.
The Heat's streak, the longest in the NBA this season, matches a run by the 2008-09 Boston Celtics for the longest by a defending champion. It is also tied for the fifth-longest ever with those Celtics and the 1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers.
Dwyane Wade led the Heat (48-14) with 23 points, six assists and five steals.
LeBron James fell short of a double-double that would have given him 31 for the season, matching a single-season career high, but he still finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
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Lakers 106, Magic 97
Dwight Howard made a triumphant first return to Central Florida, leading his Los Angeles Lakers to a relatively easy, 106-97 victory over the Magic.
Howard had 39 points and 16 rebounds in 39 minutes. He made 25 of 39 free throws, making the Magic pay for intentionally fouling him throughout the game.
Howard tied an NBA record for most free throws attempted in a game, a mark he set last season when he played for the Magic against Golden State.
Howard played the previous eight seasons for the Magic, but after forcing a trade this summer, then making critical remarks about his former teammates, he arrived as a subject of scorn Tuesday. He was booed throughout the game.
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Timberwolves 107, Spurs 83
The San Antonio Spurs were unrecognisable in a 107-83 defeat at the Minnesota Timberwolves, one night after the team with the NBA's second-best record had thumped Oklahoma City at home.
But you definitely wouldn't have known a Timberwolves team that entered Target Center losers 24 times in its last 28 games and walked away with a blowout victory after the league's worst 3-point shooters shot so deftly from there for one blessed night.
The Wolves lost their last two games by 20 or more points, but this time they made 12 of 20 3-pointers and point guard Ricky Rubio reached his first career triple-double after weeks of flirting with one.
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Mavericks 113, Bucks 105
Vince Carter scored 23 points, lifting the Dallas Mavericks to a 113-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Despite leading by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter, the Mavericks had to withstand a furious rally by the Bucks, who got within two possessions three times in the final five minutes but Carter's three fourth quarter 3-pointers halted the Bucks' comeback attempt.
Carter was one of five Mavericks to score in double figures.
Dirk Nowitzki had 19 with 11 rebounds while O.J. Mayo and Jae Crowder each scored 14 and Mike James added 13 as Dallas (30-33) won its fourth in a row.
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Nets 108, Hornets 98
Brook Lopez scored 26 points and Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 108-98 victory over the New Orleans Hornets at the Barclays Center.
The victory enabled the Nets (38-27) to hold onto fourth place in the NBA Eastern Conference standings. It was Brooklyn's fourth win in the last five games.
The Hornets (22-43) received 24 points from Eric Gordon and 17 points and 11 rebounds from rookie Anthony Davis. Greivis Vasquez had 15 points and 14 assists and Robin Lopez, Brook's twin brother, also scored 15.
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Cavaliers 95, Wizards 90
Guard Dion Waiters scored a team-high 20 points and added six rebounds in the Cleveland Cavaliers' 95-90 victory over the Washington Wizards night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Waiters was one of six players in double figures for the Cavs (22-42). Small forward Alonzo Gee contributed 17 points and three assists, while power forward Tristan Thompson finished with 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
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Bobcats 100, Celtics 74
Gerald Henderson scored a career-high 35 points, and the Charlotte Bobcats stunned the Boston Celtics for the second time in four weeks with a 100-74 victory.
Henderson had 21 by halftime on a night when the Bobcats led by as many as 28. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak and moved the Bobcats to 14-50, still by far the worst record in the league.
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