Heat outlast Hawks

Nowitzki scores 31 points to guide Mavericks to win over Houston

By (Agencies)

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Published: Wed 25 Dec 2013, 3:27 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 12:01 PM

Miami’s Michael Beasley sank two free throws with 9.2 seconds left to give the Heat a 121-119 overtime victory over Atlanta on Monday, opening a 6-1/2 game lead over the Hawks atop the NBA Southeast Division.

Other key results on Monday included Dallas’ victory over state rival Houston with Dirk Nowitzki leading the way, the other Texan team San Antonio defeating Toronto, and Indiana winning comfortably again by bouncing Brooklyn.

Miami’s LeBron James scored 38 points as the Heat struggled to see off Atlanta despite taking an early 13-0 lead. The hosts trailed by seven points with 90 seconds left in regulation before tying the scores when Ray Allen made three free throws with eight seconds left after being fouled by DeMarre Carroll.

Allen finished with 19 points for the Heat, who played without Dwyane Wade and still beat the Hawks for the ninth straight time. Jeff Teague scored 26 points for Atlanta. Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki scored 31 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter to guide the Mavericks to a 111-104 win over Houston.

The Rockets cut the lead to six points with about 3 ½ minutes left, but Nowitzki knocked down consecutive baskets to push the Mavericks lead out to 107-97. Dwight Howard had 29 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who were playing their second straight game without leading scorer James Harden, who was out with a sprained ankle.

Houston’s loss allowed San Antonio to build its Southwest Division lead to 4-1/2 games by beating Toronto 112-99. Tony Parker had 26 points and eight assists while Manu Ginobili had 18 points for the Spurs. Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross had 23 points each for the Raptors, who got within three or less on numerous occasions in the second half, but no closer.

Indiana’s Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points back in his hometown as the Pacers won 103-86 at Brooklyn. Paul George also had 26 for the Pacers, who pulled away in the third period, when Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce was ejected for a flagrant foul in only the second scoreless game of his career.

Indiana had won its previous two games by a combined 60 points and blew this one open after a competitive first half. Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who lost their third straight. Phoenix’s Gerald Green hit six 3-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Suns to a 117-90 win over the undermanned Los Angeles Lakers.

Miles Plumlee grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds and added 17 points while having his way inside with an ailing Pao Gasol, who was still clearly struggling with a respiratory infection. Nick Young scored 19 points for the Lakers, who fell to 1-2 since Kobe Bryant was sidelined with a knee injury. Golden State’s David Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double, powering the Warriors to an 89-81 win over Denver.

Stephen Curry, battling foul trouble much of the night, added 14 points in the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors beat the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs last spring. Klay Thompson scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State overcome a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season and sending the Nuggets to their season-high fourth consecutive loss.

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