NBA - Heat lose again, Raptors beat Grizzlies

Two-time defending NBA champions Miami have now dropped five of their last six games after a 111-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Reuters
NBA - Heat lose again, Raptors beat Grizzlies
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Denver Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried (35) drives to the basket as Miami Heat forward LeBron James (6) looks on during the first half at American Airlines Arena (Reuters)

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Nuggets 111, Heat 107

Two-time defending NBA champions Miami have now dropped five of their last six games after a 111-107 loss to the Denver Nuggets.

Kenneth Faried registered a double-double, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds to lead the Nuggets.

Down by four, forward LeBron James missed a three-pointer with 26.9 seconds remaining.

The current stretch matches the worst six-game run for the Heat since the start of the 2010-11 season and puts them three games back of Indiana for the Eastern Conference's No. 1 seed.

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Raptors 99, Grizzlies 86

Jonas Valanciunas had a season-high 23 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 99-86.

Kyle Lowry had 22 points and 12 assists while Greivis Vasquez had 17 points off the bench for the Raptors.

The Raptors (37-27) used a late run to pull away for their 11th win in 14 games while snapping a four-game home losing streak against the Grizzlies.

DeMar DeRozan finished with 16 points.

Zach Randolph led the Grizzlies (38-27) with 16 points.

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Trail Blazers 111, Pelicans 103

Damian Lillard scored 16 of his team-high 27 points in the fourth quarter to lift the Portland Trail Blazers to a 111-103 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans, snapping a four-game road losing streak.

With the Blazers down 94-89 with 7:26 left, Lillard scored 12 of his team's next 18 points in a 6:12 span to help Portland take a 107-100 lead.

Nick Batum added 22 points and Wesley Matthews added 20 for Portland (43-23).

The Pelicans (26-39) were led by Anthony Davis, who scored a career-high 36 points, his fifth consecutive game with at least 28.

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Bobcats 105, Timberwolves 93

Al Jefferson put on another show with 25 points and 16 rebounds as the Charlotte Bobcats won their third straight, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-93.

The Bobcats erupted for 65 first-half points and led by as many as 16 in the first half, then kept the lead in double figures the entire second half.

The win was the Bobcats' fifth in their last six games and moved them to 32-34.

For Jefferson, it marked the 20th time this season that he has had at least 20 points and 10 rebounds in a game, which established a franchise record.

The Timberwolves, who had won four of their previous five, fell to 32-32 with Kevin Martin providing 19 points.

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Pacers 101, 76ers 94

The Indiana Pacers produced a 101-94 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Paul George put on a show with 13 points in the third quarter on his way to 25.

David West scored 18 points, George Hill contributed 14 and Lance Stephenson had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Pacers, who improved to 48-17 and won their second straight following a four-game losing streak.

The Pacers have the best record in the Eastern Conference.

The Sixers, who were within three late in the contest, were led by Thaddeus Young's 25 points and 10 assists before dropping to 15-50, a 19th straight loss.

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Wizards 105, Magic 101 (overtime)

John Wall had 21 points and 11 assists to lead a well-balanced attack for the Washington Wizards, who beat the Orlando Magic 105-101 in overtime.

Trevor Ariza had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Marcin Gortat had 19 points and 14 rebounds and Bradley Beal had 20 points for the Wizards, who snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Wizards (34-31) are on pace for their first playoff appearance since 2008.

The Magic (19-48) were led by reserve forward Tobias Harris, who had 21 points.

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Suns 87, Celtics 80

Alex Len came off the Phoenix bench because of injury and wound up scoring six key points to lead the Suns to an important 87-80 victory over the Boston Celtics.

Len, who did not play in the first three quarters, replaced Miles Plumlee with 8:53 left and, after scoring three points to help keep his team in the game, converted a three-point play to break an 80-80 tie with 54.1 seconds left.

The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Suns, who started play in ninth place in the Western Conference, two games out of the playoffs.

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Spurs 119, Lakers 85

Guard Danny Green had 15 points, all from behind the three-point line, and the San Antonio Spurs won their ninth straight game with a 119-85 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Green, who was five of eight from three-point range, led a balanced scoring attack.

The Spurs spread the scoring around, with five bench players in double figures, including forward Matt Bonner with 13 points and guard Marco Belinelli with 12.

All 12 Spurs that played scored for San Antonio (49-16). The Lakers (22-44), with nine players in their rotation, were led by center Pau Gasol with 18 points and 11 rebounds.

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Clippers 96, Jazz 87

Forward Blake Griffin scored 20 points, point guard Chris Paul contributed 18 points and the Los Angeles Clippers rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 96-87 for their 10th straight win.

The Clippers (47-20), who trailed for most of the first three quarters, used a big third quarter to overcome a 13-point deficit and keep their winning streak intact.

Center Derrick Favors and point guard Trey Burke each scored 18 points for the Jazz (22-44) who lost its third straight and eighth in nine outings.

Paul scored nine points in the third quarter alone as the Clippers outscored the Jazz 34-21 in the period to overtake the lead.

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Cavaliers 103, Warriors 94

The Cleveland Cavaliers used a 68-39 dominance in the middle two quarters to build a lead and held on down the stretch to surprise the Golden State Warriors 103-94.

Center Spencer Hawks had a 22-point, 13-rebound double-double as the Cavaliers (26-40), down 20-4 in the sixth minute of the game, moved to within 3 1/2 games of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers' comeback began in the third minute of the second quarter after they had fallen behind 36-18.

The visitors had erased the deficit, and more, within the next four and a half minutes, blitzing the Warriors 23-2.

Point guard Stephen Curry poured in 27 points on his 26th birthday for the Warriors (41-25), who fell 2 1/2 games behind Portland in the battle for the No. 5 playoff position in the West.

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