The NBA plans to make San Antonio pay for resting four starters. The Miami Heat almost could not.
Ray Allen hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 22.6 seconds left and Miami rallied late to beat the Spurs 105-100 on Thursday night — needing to dig deep despite San Antonio’s decision to have four top players resting at home for a nationally televised game in a move that irritated NBA commissioner David Stern.
LeBron James finished with 23 points for the Heat. Allen scored 20, Dwyane Wade added 19 and Chris Bosh had 18 points and 12 rebounds for Miami, now 7-0 at home.
Gary Neal scored 20 points for the Spurs, who played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Danny Green.
The team’s top foursome was sent back to San Antonio by coach Gregg Popovich, who said the move was in his team’s best interest.
Stern was not happy about it, calling the decision unacceptable, apologizing to NBA fans and saying that substantial sanctions against the Spurs will follow.
Tiago Splitter scored 18 points and Nando De Colo added 15 for San Antonio, who finished a six-games-in-nine-nights road trip with a 5-1 record.
The Spurs led by seven with about five minutes left and were up 98-93 after Neal made a three-pointer with 2:14 remaining.
The Heat finished on a 12-2 run, needing yet another late-game rally.
WARRIORS 106, NUGGETS 105
In Oakland, California, Andre Iguodala’s three-pointer as the buzzer sounded was waived off, as Golden State held on for a wild win over Denver after four replay reviews over the final 3.4 seconds.
Iguodala received a cross-court inbounds pass and connected from the left wing with a hand in his face, and Nuggets players celebrated by running off the court toward their locker room.
However, the Warriors stayed put and waited on yet another review by officials at the scorer’s table — then began their own cheers at raucous Oracle Arena when officials ruled the shot came just an instant after time expired.
Iguodala missed the last of three free throws that would have tied the game with 3.4 seconds to go, but Denver still had two more chances to win.
David Lee had a season-high 31 points on 13-of-15 shooting for the Warriors, who earned their first win of the season against the Nuggets in the third meeting between the teams in a 20-day span.
Klay Thompson scored 21 points, while Stephen Curry had 20 points and a season-best 10 assists as Golden State (9-6) won for the fourth time in five games.
Iguodala finished with 22 points, while Danilo Gallinari added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets.