Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, Udonis Haslem added a career-high 28 and the Miami Heat pulled away from the New Jersey Nets in the fourth quarter last night for a 113-106 victory in East Rutherford, N.J.
The win made Miami 2-0 against New Jersey already this season, and it evoked comparisons to the Heat's final three wins over the Nets in last spring's Eastern Conference semifinals.
In those games, Miami's role players made key plays in the fourth quarter to hold off the Nets, and they did the same thing last night. The big shots were 3-pointers by Gary Payton and Antoine Walker in the final 3:30, with Walker's giving Miami a 101-94 lead with 2:16 left.
The spurt capped a game in which the Heat started sluggishly, roared back from a 17-point second-quarter deficit, fell behind early in the fourth quarter and then held off the Nets down the stretch.
Vince Carter led New Jersey with 33 points, but the Nets may have lost forward Richard Jefferson for the foreseeable future after he sprained his ankle in the third quarter when he landed on Shaquille O'Neal's foot. X-rays on the ankle were negative, but the Nets said Jefferson will be out indefinitely.
Rockets 103, Knicks 94 -- Yao Ming scored 35 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and matched a career high with 7 blocks to lead host Houston past New York.
Yao hit 15 of 21 shots and also had a steal and two assists as the Rockets beat the Knicks for the fourth straight time.
Yao hit five of his first seven shots, dominating Eddy Curry from the start with baseline jumpers and quick drives.
Wizards 116, Bucks 111 -- Gilbert Arenas scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter, and host Washington overcame an 11-point deficit in the final period to beat Milwaukee.
Antawn Jamison added 24 points, including a fortuitous layup in the final two minutes after he grabbed an airball by teammate Caron Butler. The layup gave the Wizards a 108-106 lead, and Butler fed Jamison with a more conventional pass on the next possession to make it a 4-point lead. Washington stayed ahead the rest of the way.
SuperSonics 99, Bobcats 85 --Ray Allen scored 26 points and Rashard Lewis added 19 of his 21 in the second half to lead visiting Seattle, spoiling Adam Morrison's first NBA start.
Morrison, the No. 3 pick in the draft, was just 3 of 12. The former Gonzaga star missed all three of his shots in the decisive third quarter, including a layup on a fast break during Seattle's 9-2 run early in the period that put the Sonics ahead to stay.
Nuggets 108, 76ers 101 -- Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points, Andre Miller added 18 and Marcus Camby had 10 points and 11 rebounds to lift visiting Denver to its first victory of the season. The Nuggets (1-3) were the NBA's last winless team, losing their games by a combined 6 points.
Hawks 111, Raptors 102 -- Joe Johnson scored a season-high 34 points and Josh Smith had a career-best 29 to lead the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta in Toronto. The Hawks (4-1) moved three games over .500 for the first time in 7 1/2 years.
Pacers 93, Magic 83-- Al Harrington tied a season high with 32 points to lead host Indiana past Orlando.
Trail Blazers 92, Hornets 91 -- Zach Randolph had 31 points, 12 rebounds and made the winning free throw with 2.4 seconds left as host Portland rallied from a 27-point deficit to shock New Orleans.
Pistons 97, Lakers 83 -- Tayshaun Prince tied his career high with 31 points, Chauncey Billups added 21 and visiting Detroit led virtually the entire game.