Miami’s reserves starred in a critical late-game stretch to hand the Heat their seventh consecutive victory with a 120-108 home win over the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday.
Following three tight quarters, the red-hot Heat rode their reserves during a 13-2 run early in the fourth that gave them a 106-92 advantage and a clear path to their latest triumph.
The team’s bench scored all but two points in the game-breaking stretch, and finished with 32 for the game, to aid a game-high 30 points and 10 assists from Dwyane Wade.
Wade had the crowd on their feet in the second quarter after a spectacular play that saw LeBron James block a shot, then lob a near full-court pass to the guard, who caught it in midair and finished it.
“We did some nice things in spurts and stretches,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra told reporters. “You do have to give the Kings credit, they played very well. They pushed us there until the very end.”
Chris Bosh added 20 and 10 rebounds and James chipped in 18 points to fuel NBA-leading Miami (26-7), who have won their last seven games by at least 12 points.
The struggling Kings (10-22), who were without the injured John Salmons (hip), have now lost six straight.
Isaiah Thomas put up a -team-high 24 points and Marcus Thornton finished with 23 for Sacramento, who took a six-point lead after the first quarter, but fell behind late in the second and had to play catch up the rest of the way.
“We had to play a perfect game to win this against this team and we were pretty close to a perfect game,” Sacramento coach Keith Smart said. “We had moments but when you give up 25 points off turnovers, you are not going to beat many teams.”
GRIZZLIES 89, 76ERS 76
In Memphis, Tennessee, the hosts moved to a season-best four games above .500 by beating Atlantic division leader Philadelphia.
Marc Gasol had 15 points and 14 rebounds — finishing three assists shy of a triple double — and Rudy Gay scored 14 points for the Grizzlies.
Jrue Holiday scored 22 points — none in the fourth — for the Sixers, who shot just 37 percent while losing their fourth straight.
TRAIL BLAZERS 137, SPURS 97
The Portland Trail Blazers capitalized on San Antonio’s decision to rest Tim Duncan and Tony Parker by routing the NBA Southwest Division-leading Spurs on Tuesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 21 points and Jamal Crawford scored 20 points, shooting 5 for 7 on three-pointers for the Blazers, who led by as many as 48 points and rested all their starters for most of the fourth quarter.
Kawhi Leonard had 24 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio, who had come in with 11 straight victories, and eight in a row on the road.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said before the game that he was resting Parker and Duncan because the Spurs were playing three games in four nights. Parker is averaging 19.5 points per game, while Duncan’s averaging 19.9 points and 8.6 rebounds.
PACERS 117, HORNETS 108, OT
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Roy Hibbert had a career-high 30 points and 13 rebounds to lead Indiana past New Orleans in overtime.
Paul George scored 20 points for the Pacers, who went on a 10-0 run in overtime to notch a third straight win.
Trevor Ariza scored 21 points to lead the Hornets, who was to conclude a stretch of three games in three days — all on the road — yesterday in Cleveland, Ohio.
CAVALIERS 101, PISTONS 100