Heat beat Bulls 93-79 without LeBron, and other NBA final scores
Miami Heat's LeBron James, right, high-fives Dwyane Wade (3) during a time out in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Chicago Bulls, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bulls 93-79. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Published Monday, February 24, 2014 6:52AM EST
LOS ANGELES -- Jason Collins played his first game with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, becoming the first openly gay player in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues, and Deron Williams had 30 points in a 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Collins was signed to a 10-day contract Sunday, nearly 10 months after his announcement on April 29 in Sports Illustrated. He had two rebounds and five fouls in 10 1/2 scoreless minutes.
The 12-year veteran spent his first six-plus NBA seasons with the Nets and helped them get to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. This was the 35-year-old centre's first NBA game since April 17, 2013, with Washington.
Paul Pierce scored 25 points, helping the Nets end an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who never led and lost for the 24th time in 30 games with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Xavier Henry all sidelined by injuries.
HEAT 93, BULLS 79
MIAMI -- With LeBron James watching from the bench in a suit and tie, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade powered Miami to the victory.
James was a late scratch after he broke his nose in Thursday's win at Oklahoma City, and his teammates picked up the slack. Bosh had 28 points and 10 rebounds, and Wade added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
The Bulls also were also short-handed. Starter Jimmy Butler was a late scratch because of bruised ribs.
Joakim Noah had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for Chicago, which had won five in a row. The Bulls shot 36 per cent.
Miami, playing at home for the first time in 20 days, extended its winning streak to five games.
CLIPPERS 125, THUNDER 117
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Jamal Crawford scored 36 points to help the Clippers get the win.
Matt Barnes scored 24 points and Chris Paul had 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Kevin Durant had 42 points and 10 assists and Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Thunder, who lost their second straight. It was the most points the Thunder have allowed this season.
Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to take a 115-112 lead on a 3-pointer by Durant with 2:43 to play, but the Clippers controlled the game from there.
A 3-pointer by Crawford with 1:30 remaining gave Los Angeles a 119-115 lead.
KINGS 109, NUGGETS 95
DENVER -- Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, Rudy Gay had 32 and Sacramento earned its first win in Denver in six years.
DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points for the Kings, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. It was Sacramento's first win in the Mile High City since a 118-115 victory on April 5, 2008. The Kings have won three of their last four games overall.
Randy Foye and Evan Fournier each scored 27 points for the slumping Nuggets, who lost for the seventh time in the last eight games. The Nuggets fell to 1-5 without leading scorer Ty Lawson, who missed a sixth game because of a fractured left rib.
Down 58-51 after Foye hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter, the Kings responded with a 21-2 run that put them in front 72-60 with 4:55 left in the period.
ROCKETS 115, SUNS 112
PHOENIX -- Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play and Houston escaped with the win.
Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden had 23 and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 points for the Suns, but missed a 3 at the buzzer. Gerald Green had 18 of his 23 points in the third quarter, and Markieff Morris finished with 21 points.
Beverley, who scored 12 in the fourth, made two free throws that boosted Houston's lead to 113-110 with 20 seconds to go before Dragic scored on a layup to cut it to 113-112 with 14.7 seconds to play.
Donatas Motiejunas sank two free throws with 14.1 seconds left to put Houston up 115-112.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 97
PORTLAND, Ore. -- Damian Lillard had 32 points and the short-handed Trail Blazers rallied for the victory.
Thomas Robinson had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Portland, which won its second straight after a three-game slump.
Kevin Love scored 31 for Minnesota, which had won three in a row. It was Love's franchise-best fifth straight game with 30 or more points.
The Blazers played without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
After trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, Nicolas Batum's fast-break layup gave Portland an 84-80 lead going into the fourth quarter. After Robinson's basket, Victor Claver dunked to extend the lead to 88-80.
WIZARDS 96, CAVALIERS 83
CLEVELAND -- John Wall scored 21 points and Bradley Beal had 17, leading Washington to the road victory.
The Wizards held the Cavaliers to 11 fourth-quarter points to return to .500 at 28-28 on the season. They also strengthened their hold on the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The strong defensive performance in the final period came after Washington lost Nene to a sprained left knee midway through the third quarter. He had eight points, four rebounds and four assists in 21 minutes.
Luol Deng led Cleveland with 17 points. The Cavaliers played without centre Anderson Varejao (sore back) and guards Dion Waiters (hyperextended left knee) and C.J. Miles (sprained left ankle).
Spencer Hawes, playing his second game since being acquired from Philadelphia on Thursday, had 16 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland.
RAPTORS 105, MAGIC 90
TORONTO -- Kyle Lowry scored 28 points, DeMar DeRozan had 24 and the Raptors handed the Magic their 15th straight road loss.
Terrence Ross scored 16 and Amir Johnson had 12 points and eight rebounds before leaving with a sprained right ankle in the Raptors' fifth victory in six games.
Toronto improved to 12-3 in its past 15 home games and moved six games above .500 for the first time since Feb 24, 2010, when its record was also 31-25.
Tobias Harris scored 28 points and E'Twaun Moore had 16 as the Magic opened a four-game trip with their fourth loss in five games.