The Heat trailed the Mavs as the two teams headed into the fourth quarter, but it didn't last long. LeBron James scored 12 of his 42 points in the final period and got a little help from Chris Andersen as the Heat pulled away for the 117-106 victory in Dallas.
James also pitched in nine boards and six assists in the contest, as Chris Bosh went for 22 points of his own. Birdman put in 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to help James complete the charge. The Mavs were tough, though. Dirk Nowitzki filled the box score on his way to 22 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in 36 minutes, but his team managed to shoot just 40 percent from the floor while allowing the Heat to shoot 57 percent.
And goodness, LeBron ...
The Spurs didn't have Tony Parker, Kawhi Leonard or Tiago Splitter, but it didn't matter, even against the Clippers. San Antonio went into Los Angeles and left with a 113-103 win, and it got some major contributions.
Patty Mills went for 25 points, five rebounds and five assists, including 16 points in the fourth quarter as he couldn't miss. Marco Belinelli went for 20 points as well, and Tim Duncan pitched in 19 points, 13 boards and seven assists. But it was just enough to top Blake Griffin and his 35 points and 12 rebounds. The Spurs outrebounded the Clippers 48-38 and put up 26 assists, even without Parker.
Pacers 108, Hawks 98
Atlanta managed to hit 12 threes, shoot nearly 50 percent from the floor and outrebound Indy, but the Pacers forced the Hawks into 22 turnovers, which is basically death against that team. Kyle Korver had 19 to lead the way for Atlanta and Lou Williams chipped in 18 off the bench.
It took overtime, but the Suns continued their impressive run toward the playoffs with a 112-107 in Denver. Speaking of impressive, what in the world has gotten into Gerald Green this season?
The NBA journeyman put up 36 points, including six three-pointers, on just 22 shots as his unbelievable resurgence continued. All-Star snub Goran Dragic wasn't bad himself with 21 points and 14 assists, and Markieff Morris dropped in 13 points and 12 boards. And Green was busy on Tuesday.
And why stop there?
Kenneth Faried went for 21 points and 10 rebounds for the Nuggets while Evan Fournier pitched in 25 points, eight boards and four assists off the bench.
The Bobcats entered Tuesday night just a half game ahead of the Pistons for eighth in the East, shockingly enough. They left one game up in the loss column and alone in that final playoff spot for the time being.
Charlotte handled the Pistons in Detroit, 108-96, behind a monster game from Al Jefferson. The Bobcats' big man went for 32 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists as his team jumped out early and maintained the lead throughout the night. Kemba Walker put up 22 points and six dimes, and Charlotte shot 52 percent from the floor to the Pistons' 39 percent.
Yeah the Pistons lost, but man Andre Drummond makes it look easy.
Bucks 104, Magic 100
In a game between two of the worst teams in the NBA, Milwaukee won the night. The Bucks survived a tight game at home to pull out the 104-100 win against the Orlando Magic.
Brandon Knight got to the line 12 times and hit all of them on his way to 18 points and seven assists, and Caron Butler came off the bench to drop in 21 points and grab seven rebounds of his own. The Bucks hit 12 threes in the game, and despite allowing the Magic to shoot 50 percent and 11-of-25 from three, somehow sneaked away with the win by outrebounding Orlando and nearly doubling them in free-throw attempts.
Arron Afflalo led the way for the Magic with 21 and E'Twaun Moore put up a season-high 17 points.
The Knicks managed to make this one quite interesting with a big third quarter, but the Grizzlies stifled the run to come away with a 98-93 win at home.
Mike Conley made his return to the court after missing several games with an ankle injury and promptly dropped in 22 points to lead Memphis. Mike Miller had 19, including a massive three late in the game to put the Grizz up for good. Tim Hardaway, Jr., led the way with 23 points for New York, but the Knicks went just 22 percent from the three-point line. Carmelo Anthony had 22 points on 22 shots.
The Raptors just continued to show they belong near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. Toronto went into Washington, D.C., and defeated the Wizards, 103-93, in another impressive victory.
Kyle Lowry put up a game-high 24 points and 10 assists and DeMar DeRozan, Amir Johnson and Greivis Vasquez pitched in 14 apiece as the Raptors shot nearly 57 percent from the floor to the Wizards 47 percent. John Wall had 22 points, seven assists and three steals for Washington.
The Cavaliers won their fifth straight game while the Sixers extended their losing streak to nine games as Cleveland took a dominant 114-85 victory over lowly Philadelphia.
Tyler Zeller put up 18 points and 15 rebounds in just 25 minutes as the starting center and the streaking Cavs had seven players score in double-figures, including recent All-Star MVP Kyrie Irving, who had 14 points in 24 minutes. As for Philadelphia, they're doing everything right to have a shot at that top overall pick.