LeBron James capped one of his best games of the season in dramatic fashion, making a step-back 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to carry the Miami Heat past the Golden State Warriors 111-110 on Wednesday night and into the All-Star break on a high note.
With teammate Dwyane Wade scratched from the lineup with a sore left foot, James shouldered the load for the two-time defending NBA champions. He finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, saving his best moment for last.
After fellow All-Star Stephen Curry hit a bank shot to start a three-point play that put the Warriors ahead by two, James let the clock tick down on the other end. He swished in a 27-footer with two-tenths of a second left over Andre Iguodala, then patted his chest and high-stepped on the sideline to leave the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 stunned and silent.
James shot 14 of 26 from the floor, including several dazzling dunks, and helped the Heat go ahead by 21 points in the third quarter. Chris Bosh added 19 points and five rebounds, and reserve Michael Beasley scored 16 points in a thrilling victory for the Heat, who played without Wade for the second straight night.
Curry finished with 29 points and seven assists, and David Lee had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors, who rallied to take an 87-84 lead early in the fourth quarter before the teams traded baskets late.
CLIPPERS 122, TRAIL BLAZERS 117
Blake Griffin scored 36 points, Chris Paul had 20 points and 12 assists, and Los Angeles beat Portland in a back and forth game that featured 40 lead changes.
The Clippers, who set a franchise record for largest margin of victory in their 45-point thrashing of Philadelphia on Sunday, converted 16 Portland turnovers into 20 points.
Paul made 10 of 15 shots in his second game back after missing 18 with a separated right shoulder, and Jamal Crawford added 25 points for Los Angeles. The Clippers have won 14 of their last 19 since Jan. 4, when the Spurs handed them their worst loss of the season, 116-92 in San Antonio.
LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 25 points and Damian Lillard had 21.
MAVERICKS 81, PACERS 73
Monta Ellis had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Dirk Nowitzki added 18 points to help Dallas hand Indiana its third home loss of the season.
The Mavericks (32-22), who have won six of seven, finished a three-game road trip heading into the NBA All-Star break. Dallas' five-game winning streak was snapped at Charlotte on Tuesday.
George Hill had 14 points, and Lance Stephenson and Danny Granger both scored 13 for the Pacers (40-12), who have lost two of three.
The Mavericks scored the first six points of the fourth quarter and took a 66-62 lead when Ellis made a free throw with 6:55 remaining.
ROCKETS 113, WIZARDS 112
James Harden scored 35 points and his layup with 0.7 seconds remaining lifted Houston over Washington.
The victory sends the Rockets into the All-Star break with a season-best seven-game winning streak.
John Wall gave Washington the lead with a pair of free throws with 4 seconds left. Trevor Ariza fouled out when he pushed Harden to the ground on the ensuing inbounds pass. It was ruled a foul away from the play, giving Houston one free throw and possession.
Harden, who was 16 for 16 at the line, made the free throw before grabbing a pass from Chandler Parsons and driving into the lane for the winning shot.
The Wizards had a chance to win at the end, but Kevin Seraphin's shot clanged off the rim.
Ariza had a season-high 32 points with a career-high 10 3-pointers.
SPURS 104, CELTICS 92
Tim Duncan scored 23 of his 25 points in the second half, powering injury-depleted San Antonio to a win over Boston.
Marco Belinelli added 16 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists for the Spurs, who played without guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili and forward Tiago Splitter - all sidelined with injuries.
Boris Diaw added 18 points and Duncan grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Spurs to their fifth win in seven games.
Rajon Rondo led Boston with 16 points and Kris Humphries and rookie Kelly Olynyk had 15 apiece. The Celtics fell to 4-18 against Western Conference teams.
Boston was minus guard Avery Bradley, who was sidelined with a sprained right ankle.
TIMBERWOLVES 117, NUGGETS 90
Kevin Love started practicing early for All-Star weekend, making six of 11 shots from 3-point range and totaling 32 points and 11 rebounds to lead Minnesota over Denver.
Love, chosen as a first-time starter for the Western Conference team, will also take part in the 3-point shooting contest this weekend in New Orleans.
Denver (24-27) has dropped nine of 13 and four in a row to fall behind Minnesota (25-28) and into 11th place in the West. The Wolves trail eighth-place Phoenix by six games.
Jordan Hamilton led the Nuggets with 16 points and seven assists, and J.J. Hickson added 14 points and 13 rebounds.
Corey Brewer added 22 points, J.J. Barea pitched in 18 points on 8-for-8 shooting, and Ricky Rubio had 11 points and 12 assists for the Wolves, who had coach Rick Adelman back on the sideline. He missed the previous game on Monday, an absence he said was related to his wife's health.
CAVALIERS 93, PISTONS 89
Kyrie Irving's 3-pointer as the shot clock expired with 27.2 seconds remaining keyed Cleveland's victory over Detroit.
Tristan Thompson scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter for Cleveland, overpowering Detroit's vaunted front line as the Cavaliers rallied from a 10-point deficit in the final period. Cleveland won its fourth straight and snapped the Pistons' three-game winning streak.
Andre Drummond had 16 points and 17 rebounds for the Pistons, but he didn't do much in the fourth quarter, when Thompson took control inside.
Cleveland led by one in the final minute when Irving stepped back and made his big 3 to put the Cavs ahead 89-85. Cleveland beat the Pistons for the first time in eight meetings.
Detroit was playing its second game under interim coach John Loyer after Maurice Cheeks was fired Sunday.
RAPTORS 104, HAWKS 83
DeMar DeRozan scored 31 points, Kyle Lowry had 16 points and 13 assists, and Toronto snapped a five-game home losing streak to Atlanta.
Patrick Patterson scored 14 and Terrence Ross 13 as the Raptors beat the Hawks in Toronto for the first time since March 17, 2010, when Chris Bosh hit a jumper in the closing seconds of a 106-105 victory.
Greivis Vasquez scored 12 points and Jonas Valanciunas had 14 rebounds as Toronto won for the 10th time in 12 home games and maintained a three-game edge over Brooklyn atop the Atlantic Division. The Raptors had lost seven of their past eight home meetings with the Hawks.
Gustavo Ayon had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Paul Millsap scored 17 for the Hawks, who have lost five straight. Atlanta lost for the fourth time in five road games.
GRIZZLIES 86, MAGIC 81
Zach Randolph had 20 points, Courtney Lee added 17 and Memphis held off Orlando.
Memphis beat the Magic for the sixth straight time and enters the All-Star break having won eight of its last 11.
The Grizzlies led by as many as 13 points in the second half before having to fight off several Magic runs down the stretch. Memphis also lost center Marc Gasol in the third quarter after he aggravated a left knee injury.
Nik Vucevic had 13 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Magic.
NETS 105, BOBCATS 89
Paul Pierce scored 25 points to lead Brooklyn over Charlotte.
Deron Williams added 13 points and seven assists, and Andray Blatche scored 13 off the bench to help the Nets win their final home game before the All-Star break.
Brooklyn went on a 15-3 run to open the third quarter, extending its lead to 17, and never looked back.
Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 16 points. Al Jefferson, who scored at least 26 in each of his previous three games, was limited to 12 on 5-for-13 shooting.
KINGS 106, KNICKS 101, OT
Rudy Gay made the tying basket in regulation and a 3-pointer in overtime that gave Sacramento the lead for good, and Jimmer Fredette scored a career-high 24 points to help the Kings beat New York.
Gay finished with 20 points for the Kings, who shook off a 13-point deficit and the loss of DeMarcus Cousins late in regulation to salvage the finale of a four-game road trip. Cousins had 19 points and 14 rebounds before limping off with about 3 1/2 minutes left.
Carmelo Anthony had 36 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks but flopped at the finish, missing a potential winning shot in regulation before blowing a layup on the first possession of overtime. He was scoreless in the extra session.
New York finished a disappointing and turbulent first half at 20-32. The reigning Atlantic Division champions have already lost more games than all of last season and continue to battle injuries and speculation that coach Mike Woodson's job is in jeopardy.
PELICANS 102, BUCKS 98
Eric Gordon scored 21 points, center Alexis Ajinca added 16 and New Orleans headed home for All-Star weekend with a victory over Milwaukee.
The Pelicans had seven players in double figures and stayed in the game despite foul trouble all night for big man Anthony Davis.
Davis ended up playing the fourth quarter with four fouls, providing enough of a presence on both ends of the floor to allow his teammates to go strong to the hoop.
Brandon Knight had 22 points and nine assists to lead the Bucks, limited to nine players because of a litany of injuries.
JAZZ 105, 76ERS 100
Alec Burks scored 10 of his 26 points in the final 2 minutes to lift Utah over skidding Philadelphia.
The game was tied 91-all when the Jazz looked to Burks to create some offense. The guard made a number of acrobatic drives to the basket and capped a personal 9-0 run with a soaring dunk to make it 100-91 with 22 seconds to play.
Utah's top scorer off the bench got to the free throw line with his aggressive play, making 13 of 14 from the stripe in 22 minutes. His clutch scoring extended Utah's winning streak to three and sent the Sixers to their ninth straight road loss to the Jazz.
Evan Turner scored 21 points for Philadelphia. The 76ers lost their eighth straight, the previous two by more than 40 points each.
Gordon Hayward scored 17 and Marvin Williams had 13 points and 14 rebounds as the Jazz put six players in double figures.