Heat, 97, Timberwolves, 81
Miami got their 15th win in a row, setting a franchise record. Minnesota stayed in the game reasonably late: they had the Heat's lead down to just six points with eight minutes left - but J.J. Barea, who was already hurting his team by shooting just 1-for-11 from the field, got called for a flagrant foul on Ray Allen. Barea was ejected, Allen sunk the two free throws as well as a technical after Rick Adelman contested the call, and the Heat went on a 17-5 run to end the game. Wade had 32 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds. Derrick Wiilliams led the Wolves with 25 points and 10 boards.
The Warriors were down in the fourth quarter thanks to freakily good performances by Amir Johnson and Andrea Bargnani, but they managed a ridiculous 42 points in the fourth quarter, enough to allow them to pull away despite a sloppy defensive showing. The Australian center didn't do much in his first game after missing six with back injuries - he finished a nice alley-oop and had eight rebounds in nearly 30 minutes of playing time - but he still provided a boost. David Lee led the way with 29 points and 11 rebounds, Stephen Curry 26 points and 12 assists, while Klay Thompson drilled four threes and was the catalyst in a pair of runs in the fourth quarter that Golden State the lead and the win. Johnson finished with 25 points and 15 rebounds after hitting all ten of his field goal attempts and grabbing 12 offensive rebounds, while Bargnani hit five of seven threes to finish with 26 points. The Warriors had fallen to just half a game up on the eight-seeded Utah Jazz before the win.
Bucks, 109, Jazz, 108 (OT)
J.J. Redick had the first eight points of overtime for the Bucks to give them a game that was critical for both teams as they jockey for the final playoff spots in their respective conferences. With Al Jefferson out, the Jazz used 22 points and 15 boards from Derrick Favors and 23 points and 14 boards from Paul Millsap to come back from down ten at the start of the fourth quarter to take a three-point lead near the end of regulation. But Brandon Jennings drilled a three with eight seconds to go to force OT. There, Redick was the star. The Bucks had a three-point lead of their own with the clock running out, but Millsap missed a three-pointer followed by Enes Kanter making the poor decision to go back up with it instead of kicking it out for another desperation heave, scoring two relatively meaningless points with 1.6 seconds. Monta Ellis had 34 points, while Jennings had 20 points and 17 assists. The Bucks have won four in a row - back-to-back games in overtime - bringing them closer to the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, which could help them avoid the Miami Heat.
Things went from bad to worse for the Knicks when already down 22 to a team many would expect them to handle, Carmelo Anthony went to the locker room complaining of soreness in his knee. Or did they? Amar'e Stoudemire tied his season high with 22 points off the bench as the Knicks roared back, holding Cleveland to 13 points in the third quarter, then scoring 32 in the fourth. Tyson Chandler made the big play late, blocking a potential game-winning three-point attempt by Kyrie Irving after a switch left him with what looked like a mismatch Irving was primed to exploit.
Magic, 105, New Orleans, 102
Orlando were down by as much as 17 and trailed by nine with just over three minutes to go, not surprising for a team that was 4-25 since the new year. Then, Arron Afflalo happened: the shooting guard had 11 of his game-high points in the fourth quarter, including five in the 45 seconds, to secure the win for Orlando. He missed a free throw that would have made the lead three points with 10 seconds left, but Tobias Harris grabbed the offensive board and the Hornets couldn't get a good look after fouling him. Anthony Davis had one of the best games of his rookie season with17 points and 15 boards.
The Hawks shouldn't have been expected to give Denver much without Kyle Korver, Zaza Pachulia, DeShawn Stevenson, and with Jeff Teague and Ivan Johnson suffering minor tweaks during the game. Although they had the lead down to two in the third quarter, Atlanta scored just 15 points in the final period while a Nuggets team led by Corey Brewer's 22 points off the bench got the victory.