Heat 107, Bucks 94
Miami's Big Three came up big once again with LeBron James and Chris Bosh scoring 28 points apiece, as LeBron added 10 rebounds and seven assists to his scoring load. Dwyane Wade pitched in with 20 points and nine assists.
After a strong start, Milwaukee fell prey to Miami's pressure, scoring just 15 points in the second quarter to fall behind for good. The Bucks weren't pleased with the way the game was officiated, collecting four technicals along the way, including a pair by Larry Sanders which earned him an ejection in the fourth quarter. Ersan Ilyasova paced the Bucks with 26 points and 17 rebounds.
The win gives the Heat the third-longest winning streak in NBA history, with a chance to tie the 2007-08 Houston Rockets at 22-consecutive games when they visit the Toronto Raptors on Sunday afternoon.
Lakers 99, Pacers 93
Bryant tried to give it a go on his sprained ankle, playing the first quarter and missing all four shot attempts before remaining on the bench for the remainder of the game.
The Pacers appeared to be in control of the game at times in both the first and second half, but were unable to extend their lead as sloppy play and foul trouble shifted the momentum to the visiting Lakers.
The Pacers entered the game with a league-leading opponent three-point percentage of 32.2%, but the Lakers put a dent in those numbers by making 13 of 26 from beyond the arc. Steve Blake (4-7) and Antawn Jamison (5-7) stepped up to lead the long-bomb attack by making nine of those triples. The duo combined to score 35 points off the bench, which was more than enough to make up for Bryant's absence over the final three quarters.
Dwight Howard caused problems in the post for the Pacers, drawing nine fouls on Roy Hibbert and Ian Mahinmi and finishing the game with 20 points and 12 rebounds. George Hill led the Pacers with 27 points while Paul George finished with 20 points and nine rebounds. George made just six of 20 shots.
The win helped the Lakers keep pace with the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference standings where they remain in eighth place.
Wizards 96, Hornets 87
The Washington Wizards earned their fourth-consecutive home win on Friday night over the New Orleans Hornets, 96-87. John Wall lit up the Hornets with an efficient scoring night, pumping in 29 points by making 12 of 15 field goals, including all three shots from behind the arc. Martell Webster added 18 points for the Wiz to counter a 20-point night from Hornets guard Eric Gordon. Point guard Greivis Vasquez filled the stat sheet for New Orleans with 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds.
Raptors 92, Bobcats 78
The Toronto Raptors used a strong close to beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 92-88. The Raptors held the Bobcats to just 10 fourth-quarter points as they put away the win. Raptors forward Rudy Gay paced the offense with 28 points while Amir Johnson was strong around the rim with 12 points, 21 rebounds and three blocked shots. Gerald Green scored 22 points for the Bobcats while Kemba Walker added 20 in the losing effort. Toronto remains outside the playoff picture, holding ninth place in the Eastern Conference standings. And while they picked up a game on eighth place Milwaukee, the Raptors are still seven games behind the Bucks with just 16 games to play.
Hawks 107, Suns 94
The Atlanta Hawks kept pace in the Eastern Conference standings by beating the Phoenix Suns, 107-94. Hawks forward Josh Smith returned to action after missing one game with a sprained knee and made a difference with 17 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Al Horford also added a double-double to the cause with 16 points and 11 rebounds as all five Atlanta starters scored in double figures. Goran Dragic led the Suns with 21 points and eight assists.
Rockets 108, Timberwolves 100
After trailing by 18 points at halftime, the Houston Rockets rallied to score 69 second-half points and zoom past the Minnesota Timberwolves for a 108-100 win. The Timberwolves used balanced attack to create an early advantage, as six players scored in double-figures. But in the second half the visitors simply couldn't slow down the Rockets as James Harden caught fire to lead the way back with 37 points, eight assists and seven rebounds. Jeremy Lin also found the range and finished with 24 points and eight assists of his own. The win helped the Rockets remain a game and half ahead of the Lakers in the Western Conference standings.
Thunder 117, Magic 104
The Oklahoma City Thunder finished the game on an 8-0 run to finally put away the Orlando Magic, 117-104 for their 30th home win of the season. The Thunder were up by 22 at one point in the second half, but Orlando crept back to within four points in what appeared to be garbage time before the Thunder starters finished strong. Kevin Durant scored 26 points for OKC while Russell Westrbrook made three triples and finished with 23 points and six assists. Jameer Nelson was one of three Magic players to score at least 20 points, finishing with 26 and seven assists.
Mavericks 96, Cavaliers 86
The Dallas Mavericks rallied in the second half to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 96-86, thanks to a strong effort from the bench. Dallas scored 58 second-half points to overcome an early deficit and then tightened up the defense to close out the game and secure the win. Rick Carlisle turned to his bench for a spark and they responded by scoring 60 points as Rodrigue Beaubois led the way with 18 points while Darren Collison and Brandan Wright each added 13. Rookie Dion Waiters scored 21 points in the losing effort for the Cavs.
Nuggets 87, Grizzlies 80
The Denver Nuggets came to life in the fourth quarter to rally and beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 87-80. After scoring just 10 points in the third quarter to head into the final frame down eight, an active Kenneth Faried appeared to spark Denver for a strong finish as they outscored the Grizz 29-14 in the fourth. Kosta Koufous also came up big for the Nuggets with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Zach Randolph finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds but was frustrated down the stretch by the blocks and hustle plays Faried delivered. The win drew Denver to within a half game of the Grizzlies and L.A. Clippers in the Western Conference standings.
Bulls 113, Warriors 95
The Chicago Bulls shook off a recent slump by relying on their defensive instincts to post an impressive 113-95 road win over the Golden State Warriors. Three Chicago starters scored at least 20 pointswith Luol Deng leading the way with 23 points. Joakim Noah also added 16 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls made life tough for Golden State's shooters. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson missed all nine of their combined three-point attempts and together scored just 15 points. Jarrett Jack came off the bench to score 20 points for the Warriors.