Wed, Dec 25, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Beasley gifts Heat OT win over Atlanta

XMAS MIRACLE:Miami’s last-gasp victory courtesy of two Michael Beasley free-throws saw them pull away further from the Hawks in the Southeast Division race

AP, MIAMI

The Phoenix Suns’ mascot, Gorilla, slam dunks over cheerleaders as he performs during a break in the Suns’ NBA game against the Los Angeles Lakers at the US Airways Center on Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.

Photo: AFP

Miami’s Michael Beasley sank two free-throws with 9.2 seconds left to give the Heat a 121-119 overtime victory over Atlanta on Monday, as well as a 6.5 game lead over the Hawks atop the NBA Southeast Division.

LeBron James scored 38 points as the Heat struggled to see off Atlanta, despite an early 13-0 lead.

The hosts trailed by seven points with 90 seconds left in regulation, before tying the score when Ray Allen made three free-throws with eight seconds to go after being fouled by DeMarre Carroll.

Allen finished with 19 points for the Heat, who beat the Hawks for the ninth straight time.

Jeff Teague scored 26 points for Atlanta.

Other key results on Monday included Dallas’ victory over state rivals Houston, which saw Dirk Nowitzki score 31 points — 10 in the fourth quarter — to guide the Mavericks to a 111-104 win.

The Rockets cut the deficit to six points with about 3.5 minutes left, but Nowitzki knocked down consecutive baskets to push the Mavericks’ lead to 107-97.

Dwight Howard had 29 points and 15 rebounds for the Rockets, who were playing their second straight game without leading scorer James Harden, out with a sprained ankle.

Houston’s loss allowed San Antonio to build their Southwest Division lead to 4.5 games by beating Toronto 112-99.

Tony Parker had 26 points and eight assists, while Manu Ginobili had 18 points for the Spurs.

Kyle Lowry and Terrence Ross had 23 points each for the Raptors, who got within three or less on numerous occasions in the second half, but no closer.

In Brooklyn, New York, Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 26 points in his hometown as the Pacers beat the Nets 103-86.

Paul George also had 26 for Indiana, who pulled away in the third period when Brooklyn’s Paul Pierce was ejected for a flagrant foul in only his second scoreless game.

Indiana won their previous two games by a combined 60 points and blew Monday’s clash open after a competitive first half.

Joe Johnson scored 17 points for the Nets, who lost their third straight.

In Phoenix, Arizona, Gerald Green hit six three-pointers and scored 22 points to lead the Suns to a 117-90 triumph against the undermanned Los Angeles Lakers.

Miles Plumlee had a career-high 20 rebounds and added 17 points while having his way inside with an ailing Pao Gasol, who was struggling with a respiratory infection.

The Suns held a 62-39 edge on the boards in their eighth win in nine games.

Nick Young scored 19 points for the Lakers, who fell to 1-2 after Kobe Bryant was sidelined with a knee injury.

In Denver, Colorado, Golden State’s David Lee had 28 points and 10 rebounds for his ninth straight double-double, which powered the Warriors to defeat Denver 89-81.

Stephen Curry added 14 points in the first meeting between the teams since the Warriors beat the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs last spring.

Klay Thompson scored eight of his 13 points in the fourth quarter, helping Golden State overcome a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season and sending the Nuggets to their season-high fourth consecutive loss.

Ty Lawson had 16 points to lead Denver, who were outscored 25-15 in the final period.

Elsewhere in the league, Detroit’s Josh Smith scored 25 points as the Pistons beat Cleveland 115-92 to make it seven wins from eight road games, while New Orleans’ Tyreke Evans made a memorable return by scoring a season-high 25 points and adding 12 assists to help the Pelicans defeat Sacramento 113-87 and end a four-game losing skid.

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