NBA: Miami earn 21st straight victory

AP, MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin

Sun, Mar 17, 2013 - Page 19

LeBron James and Chris Bosh each scored 28 points as the Miami Heat beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-94 on Friday for their 21st straight win.

The Heat now trail just the 1971-1972 Los Angeles Lakers (33) and the 2007-2008 Houston Rockets (22) for longest winning streaks in the NBA.

Miami led by as much as 17 in the third quarter, then withstood a push by the Bucks to remain unbeaten since a loss at Indiana on Feb. 1.

The Los Angeles Lakers found a way to win without injured star Kobe Bryant, holding off the Indiana Pacers 99-93.

Bryant, who hurt his ankle two nights ago against the Atlanta Hawks, was 0 for 4 in the first quarter before going to the bench. He did not return and was held scoreless for only the 15th time in his NBA career.

James Harden scored 37 points and Jeremy Lin had 24 as the Houston Rockets rallied from 20 points down in the third quarter to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 108-100.

Harden also grabbed seven rebounds and handed out eight assists for the Rockets, who stayed two games ahead of the Lakers in the No. 7 spot in the NBA Western Conference.

The Timberwolves led 59-39 after halftime, but only managed 16 field goals the rest of the way.

Kevin Durant scored 26 points and Russell Westbrook added 23 to help the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 117-104 home win over Orlando.

The Thunder scored a season-high 73 points in the first half. Oklahoma City led by 27 in the second quarter before Orlando pulled to 73-56 at the break.

In Atlanta, Josh Smith made a strong return to the Hawks’ lineup after injury with 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in a 107-94 victory over Phoenix.

The Chicago Bulls whipped Golden State 113-95, with Luol Deng scoring 23 points and Carlos Boozer 21 points and nine rebounds.

Kosta Koufos scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds, helping the Denver Nuggets rally to beat the Memphis Grizzlies 87-80.

At Dallas, Rodrigue Beaubois scored 18 points off the bench and keyed a fourth-quarter run to lead the Mavericks past the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-86.

In other games, the Washington Wizards beat the New Orleans Hornets 96-87 and the Toronto Raptors defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 92-78.