The Miami Heat’s “Big Three” combined to score 90 points and lead their team to a 110-103 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday.
The Heat, led by Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh, threatened to run away with the game early, but needed a fourth-quarter rally after giving up a 22-point first quarter lead.
“We’re very good going down the stretch in winning time,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “That said, we need to push for a championship-level consistency.”
Wade scored 22 of his 41 points in the first quarter to help build a 41-19 lead, while James scored 10 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and Chris Bosh added 22 points.
The Pacers, however, put together two extended runs in the second quarter to outscore the Heat 35-17 and pull within four points at halftime.
They then managed to build a five-point lead during the third quarter, but faded down the stretch and made just one field goal over the final 4:30.
Roy Hibbert led the Pacers with 18 points, while Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 and Paul George scored 14 off the bench.
The Pacers bench players outscored the starters 53-50 and were instrumental in the second-quarter comeback scoring 26 points.
“Seems like there is one quarter every game where the other team takes us out of what we’re trying to do,” James said. “Sunday in Boston, it was the third quarter. Tonight, it was the second quarter. What we did in the fourth quarter is what we do. We just need to be more consistent.”
Thunder 126, Kings 94
In Oklahoma City, Daequan Cook scored 20 points and Russell Westbrook added 10 points and 11 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder set the team’s season high for points.
Oklahoma City scored 68 points in the first half, a season high for a half, and led by as many 25 before leading by 18 at the halftime break as the Thunder topped the Kings for the second time in four days.
Kevin Durant went 5-for-18 from the field and scored 17 points and Nenad Krstic had 16 for Oklahoma City as seven players finished in double figures in scoring.
DeMarcus Cousins returned from a one-game suspension to lead Sacramento with 21 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
Bulls 106, Bobcats 94
In Chicago, Luol Deng scored 24 points, while Derrick Rose had 18 points and 13 assists after a slow start as the Chicago Bulls beat the Charlotte Bobcats for their ninth win in 11 games.
In a game of momentum swings, the Bulls needed a strong finish to pull this one out and put away a team that blew out the Lakers the previous night. Chicago opened the fourth quarter on a 10-2 run to take control on a night when Bobcats owner Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen sat next to each other at courtside.
Deng hit 10 of 19 shots. Rose, who outscored Deron Williams and Chris Paul by a combined 52-26 in wins at Utah and New Orleans, shot just 5-for-14 but came up big down the stretch.
Gerald Henderson led Charlotte with 22 points.
Grizzlies 102, 76ers 91
In Memphis, Mike Conley scored all 22 of his points in the second half, helping the Memphis Grizzlies hold off the Philadelphia 76ers.
Zach Randolph had 21 points and 10 rebounds for Memphis, along with a season-high seven assists as Memphis won its fourth straight.
Sam Young added 12 points and Rudy Gay had 11 before leaving in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. He did not return.
Thaddeus Young led Philadelphia with 23 points, while Lou Williams added 18 off the bench. Elton Brand finished with 13 and Jrue Holiday had 10 points and five assists.