|DWYANE WADE 35 points in victory|
A joyous Pat Riley walked into the Miami Heat locker room, one of his patented inspirational postgame speeches at the ready.
His team never gave him a chance. And really, nothing needed to be said. The scoreboard told the story.
Dwyane Wade scored 35 points, Mark Blount added 10 of his 19 in the pivotal fourth quarter, and the Heat beat the Indiana Pacers, 98-96, yesterday in Miami to snap a 15-game skid - the longest in the NBA this season and the second longest in franchise history.
"You don't like to be part of that every day," Riley said. "So they're just happy this thing is over with."
The scene at the final buzzer was championship-caliber.
Indiana's final play started with 5.8 seconds left, when Wade knocked the inbounds pass into the backcourt. Andre Owens picked up the ball, got just over halfcourt, and released a desperation toss that wasn't close.
And with that, Heat relief. Dorell Wright threw the ball in the air.
So what if Miami only improved to 9-33? For the first time since Dec. 22, the Heat could leave a game happy.
"To tell you the truth, it feels like we won a championship," said Wright, who had 14 points and 10 rebounds. "Been a long time, know what I mean? It's a good feeling and I'm just happy it's over."
76ers 103, Bobcats 96 - Andre Iguodala scored 33 points and visiting Philadelphia recovered from a poor start to snap a three-game losing streak.
Andre Miller added 23 points and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 14 rebounds in a rare good performance for the 76ers, who had lost 11 of 13 games this month.
The Sixers rallied from an 11-point first-half deficit by controlling the boards. Philadelphia had 17 offensive rebounds, while Iguodala hit 13 of 21 shots, finishing 1 point shy of his career high.
Jason Richardson scored 35 points for the Bobcats, including a 3-pointer with 2:15 left that got Charlotte within 98-93.
Grizzlies 125, Clippers 120 - Rudy Gay scored a career-high 34 points and host Memphis hit its free throws down the stretch to beat Los Angeles in overtime.
The Clippers never led in regulation, but were up by as many as 3 in the extra period, thanks to Corey Maggette (35 points) and Sam Cassell (25 points). But Kyle Lowry's rebound and stick back with 40 seconds left gave the Grizzlies a 118-117 lead they never relinquished.
Hornets 102, Spurs 78 - David West scored 32 points and visiting New Orleans won its eighth straight.
Peja Stojakovic added 22 points and Chris Paul had 17 points and 11 assists for the Hornets.
The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Spurs. The Hornets outscored the Spurs, 60-35, in the second half, when they took control.