Dwyane Wade and Eddie Jones scored 17 points apiece to lead the Heat to their fourth consecutive victory and seventh in eight games, a 101-69 rout of fading Philadelphia yesterday at Miami.
The 76ers have lost four in a row, are falling further back in the race for the final playoff spot, and are dealing with trade rumors surrounding star Allen Iverson.
The Heat proved once again that when they are healthy, they are one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. They improved to 14-7 with a starting lineup of Wade, Jones, Caron Butler, Lamar Odom, and Brian Grant.
Odom added 14 points, Udonis Haslem chipped in 12 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and Rafer Alston hit three 3-pointers to finish with 12.
The Heat are in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, a half-game ahead of New York, but they expect to improve their seeding down the stretch -- especially if they can stay healthy, a problem for much of the season.
Bulls 87, Knicks 81 -- Jamal Crawford hit a baseline jumper with 3.6 seconds left, completing a 25-point effort and sealing host Chicago's win over shorthanded New York. Crawford and Eddy Curry, who had 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting to go with 14 rebounds, helped Chicago to its 20th win.
Kurt Thomas paced the Knicks with 17 points. New York played without injured guard Allan Houston and lost Tim Thomas to a groin strain after the first quarter.
Trail Blazers 92, Magic 73 -- Derek Anderson scored 24 points and Theo Ratliff added 14 points and six blocked shots to lead host Portland over Orlando. The win moved Portland within a half-game of Denver and Utah in the race for the final Western Conference playoff spot.
The Magic were without All-Star swingman Tracy McGrady, who left the team to attend his great-grandmother's funeral.
Jazz 87, Hawks 81 -- Andrei Kirilenko and Raja Bell each scored 18 points and visiting Utah defeated Atlanta to win for the fifth time in seven games. Utah won its second straight to move into a tie with Denver for the eighth and final Western Conference spot. The Nuggets, who own the tiebreaker, were idle and play today at Minnesota.
Bob Sura had 19 points to lead the Hawks, who have lost two straight, four of five, and eight of 10.
Grizzlies 99, Pacers 95 -- James Posey scored 16 points, including 7 in the closing two minutes, to lead Memphis over visiting Indiana. Posey's 3-point play with 1:29 remaining came late in a 12-0 run that gave the Grizzlies a 97-90 lead. A layup by Ron Artest, a steal by Al Harrington, and a 3-pointer by Jamaal Tinsley made it 97-95.
Indiana got a chance to go for a tie or the win after Jason Williams missed a jumper with 19 seconds left, but Reggie Miller missed a short running jumper with seven seconds to go. Posey drew a foul and ended the scoring by hitting two free throws.
Suns 123, Bucks 111 -- Amare Stoudemire scored 27 points and Phoenix reached a season high in points and broke a five-game home losing streak by beating Milwaukee. The victory was the Suns' 16th in a row at home over the slumping Bucks. Overall, the Suns have won only seven of their last 27 games, while Milwaukee has lost seven of eight.
Joe Johnson added 21 points for the Suns, Shawn Marion had 19 points and nine rebounds, rookie Maciej Lampe scored a season-high 17, and Casey Jacobsen had 12.