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Thursday, Dec. 30, 2010

Wade propels Heat past Knicks

MIAMI (AP) No blowout this time for the Miami Heat. They can beat the Knicks with a grind-it-out finish, too.

News photo
Takedown: Lakers center Andrew Bynum fouls Spurs forward Tiago Splitter on Tuesday in San Antonio. AP PHOTO

Dwyane Wade scored 15 of his season-high 40 points in the fourth quarter, LeBron James and Chris Bosh each finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the Heat held off a late comeback to beat New York 106-98 on Tuesday night, Miami's 15th win in its last 16 games overall and its seventh straight over the Knicks.

Wade hit a step-back 3-pointer with less than 2 minutes left to stop one New York run, and James essentially sealed it by blowing past Danilo Gallinari for a layup and seven-point lead with 40 seconds remaining.

"My teammates did a great job, especially in the fourth, of looking for me," said Wade, who scored 15 of Miami's 21 points in the last 8:30. "Guys did a great job getting me the ball in my sweet spots and I was able to attack."

Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 14 points and added 10 rebounds for the Heat, who won by 22 in New York on Dec. 17 and led this one by 22 as well — then held off a big challenge down the stretch.

"I told the guys, a 22-point lead against the Knicks is similar to a seven- or eight-point game against a normal team," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They kept on coming . . . and that's what they do."

Amare Stoudemire scored 30 points for the Knicks, who lost for the fourth time in their last six games. Wilson Chandler scored 21 for New York, which got 15 from Raymond Felton, 13 from Gallinari and 11 from Toney Douglas.

"These guys are playing as well as anybody," Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni said of the Heat, "if not the best."

Wade had the highest point total for a Heat player this season — he had 39 against Utah on Nov. 10.

And for Miami, it was the 16th straight time it held an opponent under 100.

Spurs 97, Lakers 82

In San Antonio, the Spurs prevailed in a clash of the NBA leaders against the defending champions, beating reeling Los Angeles.

Tony Parker scored 23 points and DeJuan Blair had 17 points and 15 rebounds, leading an unlikely San Antonio cast that handed the Lakers their third straight loss.

Los Angeles' Kobe Bryant finished with 21 points on 8-of-27 shooting. He missed 13 in a row at one point, and might be fuming again after criticizing his teammates following a Christmas Day loss to Miami.

The Spurs improved to 27-4, among the best starts in NBA history. The Lakers dropped to 21-10 — the first time since 2007 they've reached 10 losses this early.

Celtics 95, Pacers 83

In Indianapolis, Paul Pierce scored 21 points to lead Boston over the hosts.

Ray Allen added 17 for the Celtics, who were without point guard Rajon Rondo, missing his fifth straight game with a sprained ankle.

Raptors 84, Mavericks 76

In Dallas, rookie Ed Davis scored a career-high 17 points and pulled down 12 rebounds as undermanned Toronto upset the Mavericks.

Nuggets 95, Trail Blazers 77

In Denver, Chauncey Billups scored 18 points while J.R. Smith and Nene added 17 points apiece for the Nuggets, who were without forward Carmelo Anthony for a fourth consecutive game following the death of his sister.

Denver said Anthony will also miss the next game before rejoining the team Thursday.

Bulls 90, Bucks 77

In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 24 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bulls past Milwaukee.

Magic 110, Cavaliers 95

In Cleveland, Orlando made a season-high 19 3-pointers in a victory over the Cavs.



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