Basketball - Heat down Magic with late surge for win number 27

LeBron James had 24 points and was a rebound shy of a triple-double as the Miami Heat used a fourth quarter surge to put away the Orlando Magic 108-94 and extend their winning streak to 27 games.

Tied 68-68 near the end of the third quarter, the Heat, powered by a 20-2 run, blasted clear of the gritty Magic to move within six of the Los Angeles Lakers' record of 33 successive wins set in the 1971-72 season.

While Orlando holds the second-worst record in the NBA with just 18 wins and languish a staggering 38.5 games back of their state rivals, the Florida Derby has not been as lop-sided as the two records would suggest.

Earlier in March, the Heat almost saw their run halted at 15 games until James hit a lay-up with just three seconds to play, securing Miami a 97-96 win.

But the job of stopping the streaking Heat on Monday was a lot tougher for the under-manned Magic who were without their top two scorers, Arron Afflalo and Nikola Vucevic.

The Heat were also were missing one of their 'Big Three', with Dwyane Wade sitting out for a second straight game with a sore right knee.

The All-Star guard was not missed, however, as Mario Chalmers chipped in with 17 points and Chris Bosh helped out with 12 points and nine rebounds.

After back-to-back games against the NBA's two bottom feeders, the Charlotte Bobcats and Orlando, the Heat's road to the record could get a little bumpier with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets and Western conference-leading San Antonio Spurs on deck to close out March.

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Hornets 110, Nuggets 86

Ryan Anderson scored 23 points and Brian Roberts, making his second NBA start, had 13 points and 18 assists as the New Orleans Hornets snapped the Denver Nuggets' 15-game winning streak with a 110-86 victory.

Winning their third consecutive game against a top playoff contender, the Hornets (25-46) poured in 14 3-pointers on 25 attempts - with Anderson accounting for five - to foil Denver's attempt at breaking its franchise record for consecutive wins.

The Hornets led by as many as 23 points early in the second half. The Nuggets (49-23) pulled to 96-84 with 6:07 left but could get no closer.

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Wizards 107, Grizzlies 94

John Wall scored a career-high 47 points with eight assists, and the short-handed Washington Wizards upended the Memphis Grizzlies 107-94.

The Wizards needed nearly every point, assist and minute of playing time Wall could muster, because they were without three starters and had only nine active players.

The third-year point guard delivered, sinking 19 of 24 free throws while establishing a personal best with 26 points before halftime. During his 44 minutes of action, Wall also grabbed seven rebounds and made 13 of 22 shots, including two 3-pointers.

Emeka Okafor had 21 points and Chris Singleton 10 for the Wizards (26-44), who have won six straight home games and split the season series with the Grizzlies. Since Wall returned to the lineup on Jan. 12, Washington is 21-16.

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Pacers 100, Hawks 94

Gerald Green scored 19 points and rookie Orlando Johnson added 15 points to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Atlanta Hawks 100-94.

Center Roy Hibbert added 17 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks for Indiana, which was coming off a disappointing loss to Chicago during the weekend.

Forward Josh Smith scored 20 points for Atlanta.

The victory moved the Pacers percentage points back in front of the New York Knicks for the second seed in the Eastern Conference.