Basketball - Nets continue winning habit against Heat

Paul Pierce scored 29 points as the Brooklyn Nets beat the Miami Heat 96-95 to improve to a perfect 3-0 against the two-times NBA champions this season.

Basketball - Nets continue winning habit against Heat

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Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce (34) drives to the basket as Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) (Reuters)s

Nets 96, Heat 95

The Nets (33-20) held on in a close finish.

On the final possession, Miami's Chris Bosh tried an inbounds pass to LeBron James in the lane, but Nets guard Shaun Livingston deflected the ball to allow Brooklyn to get the game's final stop.

The Heat (44-18) were led by forwards Bosh (24 points), guard Dwyane Wade (22 points) and LeBron James (19 points) but they fell two games behind the idle Indiana Pacers in the battle for the best record in the Eastern Conference.

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Grizzlies 90, Pelicans 88

Mike Conley scored all of his team-high 16 points in the second half, including a running one-hander in the lane with 1.5 seconds left, to lift the Memphis Grizzlies to a victory over the New Orleans Pelicans.

The Grizzlies (38-26) won their fourth consecutive game by holding the Pelicans (26-38) to 31 points on 11-of-32 shooting (34.3 per cent) in the second half.

The Pelicans got 29 points and 10 rebounds from forward Anthony Davis, but he scored just seven in the second half.

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Knicks 116, Celtics 92

Carmelo Anthony scored 34 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the short-handed New York Knicks continued their belated play-off push with a victory over the Boston Celtics.

Playing without Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Andrea Bargnani and Kenyon Martin, New York (26-40) won their fifth straight to move within three games of the idle Atlanta Hawks for the final Eastern Conference play-off spot.

Jeff Green scored 17 points in the third quarter and 19 of his 27 in the second half as the Celtics (22-43) lost their second straight and fell for the ninth time in 12 games.

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Bobcats 98, Wizards 85

Center Al Jefferson scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds as the surging Charlotte Bobcats pulled away in the fourth quarter for a victory over the Washington Wizards.

Neither team led by more than six until Charlotte (31-34) took control with 11 straight points in the final period.

Guard John Wall scored 23 points for the Wizards, though none came in the fourth quarter. Washington (33-31) lost their second game in a row and fell to 16-16 at home this season.

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Nuggets 120, Magic 112

Kenneth Faried scored 26 points and Wilson Chandler 21 in leading the Denver Nuggets to a victory over the Orlando Magic.

Reserve J.J Hickson had 20 points and nine rebounds in just 22 minutes, giving the Nuggets (28-36) a big spark early in the fourth period.

The Magic (19-47) were led by guard Arron Afflalo, who had 24 points.

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Raptors 101, Pistons 87

DeMar DeRozan led the way with a game-high 25 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Detroit Pistons.

Toronto (36-27) opened an 18-point lead to start the third thanks to a 13-2 run led by Kyle Lowry and never looked back.

Lowy finished with 19 points.

The loss extends the Pistons' (25-40) losing road streak to 10 games.

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Kings 115, Sixers 98

Rudy Gay scored 27 points as the Sacramento Kings handed the Philadelphia 76ers an 18th straight defeat.

Isaiah Thomas added 20 points for the Kings (23-42), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

The Sixers (15-49) losing streak is the second-longest in franchise history, exceeded only by a 20-game skid by the 1972-73 squad, which went 9-73.

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