Indy, Bulls Locked at Top
Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli, left, and Indiana Pacers forward Sam Young get tied up in the second half of an NBA basketball game in Indianapolis, Monday, Feb. 4, 2013. The Pacers defeated the Bulls 111-101. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Indianapolis — David West scored 29 points and Paul George had 21 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, leading Indiana past short-handed Chicago 111-101 last night for a share of the Central Division lead.
The Pacers have won three straight and extended their home winning streak to 14, matching the team’s longest since 2002-03.
Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points and Nate Robinson had 19 to lead the Bulls, who lost for only the third time in nine games. The Bulls played again without starting guards Kirk Hinrich (elbow), Derrick Rose (knee) and center Joakim Noah (foot). The Bulls also survived a scare when Belinelli crashed to the floor clutching his right ankle late in the first quarter.
Indiana seized control with a 15-4 run in the third quarter that made it 79-67 with 4:13 to go. Chicago never got closer than four the rest of the way.
Wizards 98, Clippers 90
Washington — Martell Webster scored 21 points, and Washington broke a four-game losing streak against a Los Angeles team missing Blake Griffin and Chris Paul.
With Griffin nursing a strained left hamstring and Paul still dealing with a bruised right kneecap, the Wizards pulled away with a 7-0 run late in the fourth quarter, spurred by a pair of big offensive rebounds by Nene.
Nene and Garrett Temple scored 15 points apiece, Emeka Okafor grabbed 14 rebounds, and John Wall had 13 points and eight assists for the Wizards, who entered the game tied with the Charlotte Bobcats for the worst record in the NBA.
Heat 99, Bobcats 94
Miami — LeBron James scored 31 points and Chris Bosh added 23 to lead Miami to its 10th consecutive victory over Charlotte.
Dwyane Wade had 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who have won nine of their last 10 at home. James was 13 for 14 from the field, for a career-best 93 percent shooting. The Heat improved to 19-3 on their home floor.
Ramon Sessions scored 18 points for Charlotte, which lost its fourth in a row and 12th in the last 14. Ben Gordon had 16 points as six Bobcats players scored in double digits.
Knicks 99, Pistons 85
New York — Tyson Chandler tied a franchise record with his third straight 20-rebound game, Carmelo Anthony scored 27 points, and New York cruised to its fifth consecutive victory.
In a game that was decided early, Chandler played long enough to grab his 20th rebound midway through the fourth quarter.
Thunder 112, Mavericks 91
Oklahoma City — Russell Westbrook scored 24 points, Kevin Durant had 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Oklahoma City avoided a third straight overtime game against Dallas.
The Mavericks had tied the first two meetings this season with 3-pointers at the very end, but there was no such drama the third time around.
Trail Blazers 100
Minneapolis — LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and 13 rebounds to help Portland avoid a late collapse against Minnesota.
Wes Matthews scored 22 points and Damon Lillard added 21 points for the Blazers, but they each had five of the team’s season-high 28 turnovers. The Blazers never trailed in the game, but the Wolves had a chance to tie or win in the end. Ricky Rubio swung the ball to Dante Cunningham, whose 19-footer fell short.
Sixers 78, Magic 61
Philadelphia — Spencer Hawes had 21 points and 14 rebounds and Jrue Holiday had 13 points and 14 assists to lead Philadelphia to its third straight win.
Nick Young had 15 points for the Sixers, who won three straight games for the first time since the final three games of November.
Orlando listed six players as inactive in its 10th straight loss. E’Twaun Moore had 18 points and Nik Vucevic grabbed 14 rebounds.