The Houston Rockets brought LeBron James and his Miami teammates back to earth, a day after James scored a record 61 points, by beating the Heat 106-103 on Tuesday.
Miami had the consolation of knowing NBA Eastern Conference title rivals Indiana also lost, beaten by a last-second Golden State Warriors basket, keeping the Pacers’ advantage over the Heat at two games.
The big game in the Western Conference saw the Los Angeles Clippers extend their winning run by beating the Phoenix Suns.
Houston’s Dwight Howard had 22 points and 16 rebounds, while James Harden added 21 points.
James had just 22 points and only three in the second half, one night after setting a club record by scoring a career-best 61 points.
He acknowledged before the game that he was “extremely tired” and that he spent most of the day sleeping.
Still, the Heat were within three points with 21.2 seconds left.
Harden threw the ball away after that and Howard accidentally hit James in the face when they both went up to try to grab a long pass.
James lay on the court holding his broken nose for a few seconds, before getting up and slowly walking to the bench. He remained in the game after a timeout, but missed a desperation three-point attempt at the buzzer that would have tied it.
Dwyane Wade had 24 points for the Heat.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson made a 12-foot turnaround jumper with 0.6 seconds left to secure a 98-96 win at Indiana.
Thompson scored 16 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, while Stephen Curry finished with 19 points for the Warriors, who have won five of six.
It was their first win at Indiana in seven years.
David West had 27 points for the Pacers, who had won their previous five and lost only three home games this season.
The Warriors were in control most of the night, but the Pacers tied it 94-94 with a 12-0 run. After Thompson put Golden State ahead again, Paul George’s long three-pointer at the buzzer was short.
Los Angeles’ Matt Barnes scored 18 of his season-high 28 points in the third quarter to set up a 104-96 win for the Clippers against Phoenix.
Barnes made 12 of his first 13 shots, scoring 16 points in the first 5 minutes, 9 seconds of the third quarter. Blake Griffin added 22 points for the Clippers, who have won five straight.
P.J. Tucker scored 18 for the Suns, who played without injured center Miles Plumlee and lost guard Leandro Barbosa to a broken hand in the first half.
The San Antonio Spurs hit six straight three-pointers to overturn a 12-point deficit and go on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 122-101.
Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook had a triple-double in 21 minutes and Kevin Durant scored 42 points as the Thunder thrashed the woeful Philadelphia 76ers 125-92.
New Orleans’ Anthony Davis had 28 points and 15 rebounds to help the Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Lakers 132-125, arresting an eight-game losing skid.