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Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wade, Richardson spark Heat to win over injury-ravaged Warriors

MIAMI (AP) Afterward, Dwyane Wade could only exhale.

News photo
Game face: Celtics forward Kevin Garnett attempts a shot while Pistons forward Jonas Jerebko defends in first-half action on Tuesday in Auburn Hills, Mich. Boston beat Detroit 105-100. AP PHOTO

"There's no easy wins in the NBA," Wade said.

These days, that especially rings true for the Miami Heat.

Wade finished with 35 points and 12 assists, Quentin Richardson hit two huge 3-pointers in the final minutes, and the Heat snapped a four-game slide by digging deep to beat the undermanned yet spirited Golden State Warriors 110-106 on Tuesday night.

Richardson and Michael Beasley each scored 15 points for Miami, which got 14 points and 12 rebounds from Jermaine O'Neal and 14 more points from Carlos Arroyo, who came off the bench to play 34 minutes at point guard.

"Where we are, any win is a good win for us," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "It wasn't a great game for us, but we got the win, so we'll take it. The only thing that matters right now is that we stay in this fight. However. By whatever means to get it done, we just need to stay in the fight and keep on swinging."

In other words, take a cue from the Warriors.

They're now 25 games under .500 and long out of the Western Conference playoff picture. Someone forgot to tell Don Nelson's club — which dressed only eight players, the NBA minimum, and that was after they signed a D-Leaguer earlier in the day — that it's merely playing out the string.

Anthony Morrow scored 24 points, C.J. Watson had 20 and Stephen Curry added 18 for Golden State, which had a chance to tie the game with 5 seconds left — but Curry's pass skipped off Turiaf's hands, Arroyo followed with two free throws, and the Heat escaped.

Celtics 105, Pistons 100

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Nate Robinson scored 14 points in 16 minutes and Rajon Rondo added 15 points and 11 assists as Boston beat Detroit.

The Celtics, playing for the first time since a humiliating home loss to the NBA-worst New Jersey Nets on Saturday, got 18 points from Ray Allen.

Thunder 113, Kings 107

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 39 points and 10 rebounds, and Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 13 assists as the Thunder beat Sacramento to complete a perfect three-game homestand.

Rookie Tyreke Evans led the Kings with 27 points. Carl Landry added 17 points, and Beno Udrih and Francisco Garcia scored 13 apiece.

Lakers 122, Pacers 99

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 24 points, hitting 14 of 15 free throws, and the Lakers pulled away with a dominating third-quarter run for a victory over Indiana.

Andrew Bynum added 16 points and Pau Gasol had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the defending NBA champions, who fell behind early before improving to 14-0 against the Pacers at Staples Center.

LeBron makes switch

INDEPENDENCE , Ohio (AP) The number on LeBron James' back will be different next season. The Cleveland Cavaliers can only hope the logo on the front of his jersey remains the same.

James has filed paperwork with the NBA to change his uniform number next season to No. 6 from No. 23, the league confirmed Tuesday. James said earlier this season he would be willing to give up No. 23 in an effort to have the NBA retire it in honor of Michael Jordan.

Paperwork had to be filed this week to request a number change for next season.

James can become a free agent this summer. He would only need the league's approval to change numbers if he remains in Cleveland. Should he sign with another team, James would be allowed to choose any available number without needing approval.

James, who declined interview requests on Tuesday, is going from one famous number to another. Julius Erving and Bill Russell both wore No. 6.

"The first thing I think of is Dr. J," Cavaliers coach Mike Brown said.

Iverson done in Philly

PHILADELPHIA (AP) The Philadelphia 76ers have said goodbye to A.I.

Allen Iverson's second stint with the team he once led to the NBA Finals ended with a whimper Tuesday when the Sixers announced he would not return for the rest of the season.

Iverson has mostly been absent from the team for a month, returning to Atlanta to be with his family as they deal with an undisclosed illness of his 4-year-old daughter, Messiah.

Iverson, who returned to the 76ers as a free agent in December, has not played since Feb. 20.

"After discussing the situation with Allen, we have come to the conclusion that he will not return to the Sixers for the remainder of the season, as he no longer wishes to be a distraction to the organization and teammates that he loves very deeply," team president Ed Stefanski said.

The former NBA MVP and four-time scoring champion averaged 13.8 points in 28 games this season. He started the season with Memphis but only played three games before he announced a short-lived retirement.

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