Heat Cages Bobcats
San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (21) is fouled by Houston Rockets center Omer Asik (3) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday March 24, 2013 in Houston. (AP Photo/ Patric Schneider)
Miami — LeBron James and company put on quite a show for some of the biggest names in sports last night.
James had 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, Chris Bosh added 15 points and the Miami Heat won their 26th straight game, cruising to a 109-77 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.
The world’s best were courtside in Miami. Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men’s tennis player. Wladimir Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing king. Rory McIlroy, who sits atop the golf rankings for at least one more night.
And James responded with another sterling performance, making 11 of 14 shots while helping Miami move within seven wins of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the league record of 33 in a row.
Norris Cole scored 15 and Ray Allen added 14 for the Heat, who played without Dwyane Wade, held from the lineup because of right knee soreness that the team believes is minor.
Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points, and Gerald Henderson had 18.
Rockets 96, Spurs 95
Houston — James Harden sank an off-balance jumper with 4.5 seconds left to lift Houston to the victory.
Harden scored 18 of his 29 points in the second half as the Rockets rallied from three down in the final minute to snap a four-game losing streak to their state rivals.
Tony Parker scored 23 points, including 10 in a row to put San Antonio ahead with just under 2 minutes left. The Spurs led 95-94 when Harden got the ball from Omer Asik, drove to the free-throw line and hit the winning jumper with Tim Duncan in front of him and Kawhi Leonard behind him.
Duncan missed a jumper from the wing just before the buzzer sounded.
Hawks 104, Bucks 99
Milwaukee — Al Horford scored 24 points to help Atlanta rally for the win.
Josh Smith added 23 points and nine rebounds for the Hawks, who trailed 98-95 with 1:05 remaining. Devin Harris added 16 points and Jeff Teague finished with 14.
Smith converted a layup with 33.8 seconds to tie it at 99. After the Bucks turned it over, Dahntay Jones was fouled. He made the first and missed the second, but Anthony Tolliver grabbed the rebound for Atlanta and called timeout.
Thunder 103, Trail Blazers 83
Oklahoma City — Kevin Durant had 24 points and 10 rebounds, Russell Westbrook fueled a key third-quarter spurt and the Thunder pulled away for the win.
Westbrook finished with 21 points and Serge Ibaka had 16 on 7-of-9 shooting for Oklahoma City (52-19), which moved within 1½ games of San Antonio in the race for the Western Conference’s top playoff spot.
Damian Lillard scored 19 points for Portland (33-37), which went 2-3 on a five-game road trip. The Blazers fell three games behind the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot.
Bulls 104, Timberwolves 97
Minneapolis — Nate Robinson had 22 points and 10 assists for Chicago, and Carlos Boozer added 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Luol Deng scored 17 points and Taj Gibson had 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who were missing Joakim Noah for the second straight game because of plantar fasciitis. They still dominated the boards, 52-32, including 20 offensive rebounds.
Mavericks 113, Jazz 108
Dallas — Mike James scored a season-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki added 17 and Dallas beat slumping Utah.
Vince Carter and Shawn Marion each had 15 points as the Mavericks moved within two games of the Los Angeles Lakers for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Enes Kanter scored 17 points as the Jazz lost their ninth straight on the road, Utah’s longest such skid since losing 17 in a row away from home during the 1981-82 season. The Jazz’s last road win was Feb. 13 at Minnesota.
The score was tied midway through the third before the 37-year-old James keyed a 20-2 run which bridged the third and fourth quarters.
Utah’s Paul Millsap had 15 points and nine rebounds, and Gordon Hayward chipped in with 13 points.