The Miami Heat had a battle on the road against the Detroit Pistons closer than they'd expected, but thanks to free throws in crunch time from LeBron James, Miami was able to pull off a 101-98 victory. James hit six straight free throws in the final 90 seconds and 13-14 overall to score a game-high 32 points.
His teammate Chris Bosh did the damage early, hitting his first seven shots and racking up 27 on 12-15 shooting. The Heat had a 10-point lead in the fourth before Detroit stormed back, but the Pistons' offense seized up completely over the final few possessions, clearing the way for LeBron.
Greg Monroe had another great performance for the Pistons with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but the real revelation was Austin Daye, who earned 30 minutes and perhaps a permanent spot in the rotation with 28 points on 10-18 shooting (4-8 on threes) plus six rebounds and three assists.
The Heat are now 13-5. The Pistons fall to 4-15.
In other action:
Nets 97, Sixers 90: New Jersey picked up a road stunner over Philly, dropping the 76ers to 8-2 at home. Deron Williams exploded for 32 points and 11 assists, and Philly gave up 12 offensive rebounds, six of those to Kris Humphries.
Bucks 105, Rockets 99: Milwaukee is chipping away at its deficit, beating a good Rockets team in Houston on Wednesday largely on the strength of its offense. Brandon Jennings, Stephen Jackson and Mike Dunleavy led the Bucks to 14-29 shooting on threes -- that trio hit 10-18 -- and outside of Kevin Martin's 5-12 performance from downtown, Houston shot just 3-19.
Timberwolves 105, Mavericks 90: Minnesota spoiled Dallas' ring ceremony with a great road win. Kevin Love had 31 and 10, and Ricky Rubio racked up 17 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and four steals. Dirk Nowitzki is still away from the court, working on his conditioning. In his place in the starting lineup, Lamar Odom shot 2-14.
Raptors 111, Jazz 106: Toronto picked up a second straight road win with Andrea Bargnani in the lineup ... but Il Mago told reporters after the game that continued pain in his troubled calf leads him to believe he'll be out for "a while." Well, that was fun while it lasted! Devin Harris had a breakout game (24 points, six assists) that could lubricate a trade for a GM distracted by shiny objects.