Basketball - Under-strength Heat hold off Bobcats

Mike Miller hit seven threes en route to a season-high 26 points as the visiting Miami Heat held off the Charlotte Bobcats to win 89-79.

Reuters
Basketball - Under-strength Heat hold off Bobcats
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Kemba Walker #15 of the Charlotte Bobcats drives against Mike Miller #13 of the Miami Heat at the Time Warner Cable Arena (AFP)

Heat 89, Bobcats 79

In a match-up of the teams with the NBA's best and worst records, Chris Bosh added 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists and Rashard Lewis scored 14 points for the Heat, who were without stars LeBron James (hamstring) and Dwyane Wade (ankle), as well as reserve guard Ray Allen (ankle).

Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist collected 18 points and a season-high 14 rebounds for the Bobcats, who got just 12 points on 3-of-15 shooting from leading scorer Kemba Walker.

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Thunder 97, Pacers 75

Kevin Durant had 34 points and nine rebounds as visiting Oklahoma City dominated the fourth quarter while routing Indiana.

Russell Westbrook added 24 points and nine assists as the Thunder moved into a tie with the San Antonio Spurs for the top spot in the Western Conference. Oklahoma City has won six of its last seven games.

Roy Hibbert had 22 points and David West added 17 for the Pacers, who had a five-game winning streak halted and fell 1 1/2 games behind the New York Knicks in the battle for the No. 2 spot in the Eastern Conference.

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Bulls 87, Magic 86

Nate Robinson scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and host Chicago held off Orlando to move into sole possession of fifth place in the Eastern Conference.

Luol Deng also scored 19 points as the Bulls moved one game ahead of Atlanta and closed within a game of fourth-place Brooklyn in the battle for home-court advantage in the opening round of the play-offs.

Beno Udrih scored 27 points, including 18 in the third quarter, and Nikola Vucevic had 16 and 15 rebounds for the Magic, who lost their fourth straight.

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Raptors 95, Timberwolves 93

Rudy Gay scored 26 points and visiting Toronto survived a tight affair when Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio missed a potential game-tying free throw with 1.7 seconds left.

DeMar DeRozan added 25 points for the Raptors, who erased a double-digit deficit in the second half to defeat the Timberwolves for the 16th time in the last 17 meetings.

Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 24 points. Andrei Kirilenko added 20 and Rubio had 13 and 12 assists as the Timberwolves saw their first winning streak in more than three months snapped at two.

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Knicks 101, Bucks 83

Carmelo Anthony remained hot by scoring 18 of his 41 points in the third quarter as host New York ran its winning streak to 11 games.

Anthony followed up scoring efforts of 50 and 40 points to become the first Knick since Bernard King in 1984-85 to record at least 40 in three straight games.

He shot 17-for-28 and J.R. Smith added 30 points off the bench for New York, which scored more points in the third quarter (42) than it did in the entire first half (36).

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Cavaliers 97, Celtics 91

Tristan Thompson collected career highs of 29 points and 17 rebounds as visiting Cleveland snapped a 10-game slide by holding off shorthanded Boston.

Alonzo Gee added 16 points and 10 boards and Wayne Ellington scored 12 points for the Cavaliers, who had dropped six straight road games.

Jeff Green had 23 points and Shavlik Randolph scored a career-high 16 off the bench as the Celtics fell for the eighth time in the last 11 games. Boston, which clinched a play-off spot on Wednesday, was without Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett due to ankle injuries.

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76ers 101, Hawks 90

Evan Turner collected 24 points and 11 rebounds and Spencer Hawes added 19 points and 12 boards as visiting Philadelphia kept alive its slim play-off hopes with an impressive win at Atlanta.

Thaddeus Young contributed 14 points and 13 rebounds and Damien Wilkins chipped in 16 points for the 76ers, who are five games behind eighth-place Milwaukee with seven games to play.

Josh Smith scored 19 points and Al Horford added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks, who fell a half-game behind fifth-place Chicago and two games back of fourth-place Brooklyn.

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