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Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

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Baseline blast: Boston's Paul Pierce drives around Toronto's James Johnson in the first half on Wednesday night. AP

Bucks claim win over Heat for second time this season


MILWAUKEE — The Miami Heat have the stars, the sun and South Beach.

Somehow, the Milwaukee Bucks have bragging rights.

Brandon Jennings scored 31 points, including three 3-pointers in a critical stretch of the fourth quarter, and Milwaukee beat Miami 105-97 on Wednesday night for the Bucks' second win over the Heat this season.

Even on a huge night for LeBron James — he scored a season-high 40 points, including a powerful windmill dunk destined for the highlight reels — Jennings and the Bucks walked away with a win.

And, apparently, a little bit of admiration from James.

"Me and LeBron looked at each other," Jennings said. "I said, '40?' He said, 'You've got 31, though.' "

Jennings also had eight assists with no turnovers while Drew Gooden added 17 points and nine rebounds for the Bucks, who have won three straight — including a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers last Saturday.

The Bucks also beat the Heat 91-82 in Miami on Jan. 22.

James had 24 points in the first quarter, the most points any player has scored in a quarter this season, according to STATS LLC. But he went cold in the second half.

"You always give credit where credit is due," James said. "They made some shots in the third quarter and fourth quarter. They got back into it. They made a run. We held it as much as possible."

Dwyane Wade added 23 points for the Heat, but it wasn't enough.

"What that second half showed is we still have a long way to go as a ballclub just in terms of playing consistently," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We were playing very good basketball in the first half. It's a fragile game. In this league it can go the other way quickly if you're not staying consistent to your identity."

Bucks fans chanted "overrated" in the final minutes of the game.

"We can't just have an ordinary-energy game, we have to have an extraordinary game against them," Bucks coach Scott Skiles said. "The guys came out in the second half and really took it to them."

Trail Blazers 112, Bobcats 68

In Portland, Jamal Crawford scored 24 points in 21 minutes, helping the Trail Blazers rout Charlotte for the Bobcats' 10th straight loss and the worst in franchise history.

Gerald Wallace, traded to the Blazers from Charlotte last year, scored 23 points while LaMarcus Aldridge added 22 before Portland sat all of its starters in the fourth quarter.

76ers 98, Bulls 82

In Philadelphia, Andre Iguodala helped the Sixers stamp themselves as a rising threat in the East, scoring 19 points and grabbing nine rebounds in win over Chicago.

Iguodala outplayed Derrick Rose and stuffed a month's worth of highlight video activity into one game. His one-handed dunks, around-the-back passes, and big 3s helped the Sixers lead the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls by 20 at the end of the third quarter.

Magic 109, Wizards 103

In Orlando, Ryan Anderson scored 23 points, including six 3-pointers, to help the Magic snap a four-game losing streak.

Dwight Howard and J.J. Redick added 21 points each for the Magic, who beat Washington for the eighth straight time.

Celtics 100, Raptors 64

In Boston, Paul Pierce had 17 points and eight assists and the Celtics crept above .500 for the second time this season.

Ray Allen and Brandon Bass added 12 points apiece and Avery Bradley scored 11 for the Celtics, who never let go of the lead once Allen's layup 16 seconds into the game put Boston up 2-0.

Nets 99, Pistons 96

In Newark, New Jersey, Deron Williams scored 26 points to lead the Nets.

Kris Humphries had 18 points, Jordan Farmar added 15 and Shawne Williams 15 for the Nets.

Pacers 109, Timberwolves 99

In Minneapolis, Danny Granger scored 29 of his 36 points in the second half to help Indiana beat the Timberwolves.

Suns 120, Hornets 103

In New Orleans, Steve Nash had a season-high 30 points and 10 assists, becoming Phoenix's franchise assists leader.

Thunder 95, Mavericks 86

In Dallas, Russell Westbrook scored 33 points, Kevin Durant added 23 points and 13 rebounds, and Serge Ibaka had a career-high 10 blocks for Oklahoma City.

Spurs 99, Rockets 91

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 25 points and Tony Parker added 24 to help the Spurs rally past Houston.

Clippers 107, Jazz 105

In Salt Lake, City, Chris Paul scored 34 points and had 11 assists and Blake Griffin added 31 points and 14 rebounds as Los Angeles held on to beat Utah.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Clippers.

Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 27 points and 12 rebounds.

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