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Monday, Dec. 6, 2010

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Room to maneuver: Heat guard Dwyane Wade puts up a shot between a trio of Hawks defenders, including Jamal Crawford (11) and Josh Smith, in the first quarter on Saturday. Miami defeated Atlanta 89-77. AP PHOTO

Meeks torches 'Cats in first-quarter spurt

Rookie guard finishes with career-best 26 points

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jodie Meeks scored a career-high 26 points, 20 in a big first-quarter run, to help the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Charlotte Bobcats 109-91 on Saturday night.

Meeks, who entered the game averaging 7.3 points, made his second career start after replacing rookie Evan Turner, the No. 2 overall pick, in the starting lineup Friday night.

Meeks matched Allen Iverson's arena record for points in a first quarter with 20, scoring all 20 during a 26-5 run in a 5:11 span. Meeks made his first six 3-pointers and finished 7 of 10, and 9 of 16 overall.

If Saturday is any indication, Meeks won't be leaving the starting lineup anytime soon — unless it is because of an injury. Meeks limped off the floor with 2:37 left after apparently hurting his ankle.

Boris Diaw led Charlotte with 19 points.

Thaddeus Young added 20 points, and Andre Iguodala, Elton Brand and Jrue Holiday had 15 points apiece for the 76ers (6-14). Brand added 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double in three of his last four games, while Iguodala and Holiday had seven assists each.

Boris Diaw led the Bobcats (7-13) with 19 points. Stephen Jackson added 18, and D.J. Augustin and Kwame Brown had 12 points each.

Meeks hit a 3-pointer to give Philadelphia a 9-6 lead, then made his next five 3-pointers, the last to put the Sixers up 32-11 with 2:06 left in the first quarter. He finished the quarter 6 of 7 from 3-point range and 7 of 9 overall, helping Philadelphia take a 32-16 lead.

The Bobcats got as close as eight points in the second quarter, but trailed 56-45 at halftime after the Sixers scored nine of the final 15 points of the half.

Heat 89, Hawks 77

In Miami, Chris Bosh scored 27 points, Dwyane Wade added 26 and the Heat scored 11 straight points in the final minutes to beat Atlanta for their fourth straight victory.

LeBron James added 22 points for Miami. The three Heat stars combined for 75 points.

Al Horford scored 22 points on 10-for-11 shooting for the Hawks, who had their five-game winning streak snapped and lost for just the third time in 10 road games.

T-Wolves 128, Cavaliers 95

In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 28 points and 19 rebounds and Minnesota snapped a six-game losing streak with a victory over Cleveland, two days after the Cavaliers were thrashed by LeBron James.

The Timberwolves hit a franchise-record 18 3-pointers to blow out the Cavaliers.

Antawn Jamison had 17 points for Cleveland.

Bucks 96, Magic 85

In Milwaukee, Andrew Bogut scored a season-high 31 points and had 18 rebounds in his return from a back injury and the Bucks beat a depleted Orlando squad.

Vince Carter scored 20 points and Quentin Richardson added 16 for the Magic, down to eight active players because of illness and injury. Starters Dwight Howard and Jameer Nelson missed the game for Orlando, which had its winning streak snapped at six.

Bulls 119, Rockets 116 (OT)

In Chicago, Derrick Rose scored 30 points and hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer in regulation to send the game into overtime, and the Bulls went on to beat Houston.

Rose added seven rebounds, 11 assists and five steals in the win.

Mavericks 105, Kings 103

In Sacramento, Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points, Jason Terry had 23 and Dallas rallied for its ninth straight victory by beating the struggling hosts.

The Mavericks outscored the Kings 15-4 in the final 5 1/2 minutes to improve to 8-1 on the road and 16-4 overall. It was their seventh straight victory against Sacramento, which has lost seven straight and 13 of 14.

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