Anderson Varejao made his first career 3-pointer with 17.2 seconds left - a 25th birthday present to teammate LeBron James - to give Cleveland a 106-101 victory over the visiting Atlanta Hawks last night, the Cavaliers’ 11th victory in 12 games.
James scored a season-high 48 points with 10 rebounds and 6 assists for the Cavs.
With the score tied at 101 and the 24-second shot clock down to its final tick, the ball wound up in the hands of Varejao, who missed his first 18 career 3-pointers. But the frizzy-haired Brazilian stepped up and drilled his long shot before James rushed into his arms.
After Atlanta’s Mike Bibby missed a three with six seconds left, Jamario Moon made two free throws to ice the Cavs’ sixth straight win.
Magic 117, Bucks 92 - Vince Carter overcame a hard collision to score 25 points, rallying Orlando at home over Milwaukee.
Carter was thrust under the courtside seats on a hard hit by Ersan Ilyasova late in the third quarter that gave Orlando a brief scare. The Magic’s star shooting guard shook off the pain and never exited, igniting a 17-2 run that helped them pull away.
Grizzlies 121, Pacers 110 - Rudy Gay scored 31 points to lead Memphis, which handed host Indiana its eighth straight loss.
Zach Randolph had 28 points and 13 rebounds, and Marc Gasol added 21 points and 10 boards for the Grizzlies.
Nets 104, Knicks 95 - Brook Lopez had 21 points and 14 rebounds and New Jersey snapped a 10-game losing streak with a blowout of visiting New York.
Yi Jianlian added 22 points, Chris Douglas-Roberts had 17, and Devin Harris had 17, 8 assists, and 7 rebounds as the Nets ended their second double-digit losing streak of the season.
Raptors 107, Bobcats 103 - Chris Bosh had 33 points and 13 rebounds, Andrea Bargnani matched his career high with 28 points, and Toronto beat visiting Charlotte for its season-high fifth straight victory.
Marco Belinelli scored 13 points and rookie DeMar DeRozan had 10 as Toronto avenged a 116-81 loss at Charlotte Nov. 25. Stephen Jackson scored 30 points for the Bobcats.
Jazz 107, Timberwolves 103 - Deron Williams had 21 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, and Utah finally beat host Minnesota.
Williams led a second-half surge and all five starters were in double figures as the Jazz avoided an embarrassing third consecutive loss to the lowly Wolves.
Hornets 95, Heat 91 - David West scored 6 of his 21 points in the last 55 seconds, and New Orleans held on for the home win.
Chris Paul had 18 points and nine assists, and Emeka Okafor had 15 points, 14 rebounds, and a key block on Udonis Haslem in the final 30 seconds, helping the Hornets end a two-game skid and snap Miami’s three-game win streak.
76ers 116, Kings 106 - Lou Williams scored 22 points, Allen Iverson had 20, and Philadelphia pulled away in the fourth quarter for a win in Sacramento.
The 76ers repeatedly made perimeter shots in the final quarter, when they built a double-digit lead to put together their first back-to-back wins since Oct. 30-31.
Trail Blazers 103, Clippers 99 - Brandon Roy had 25 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists, and host Portland beat Los Angeles despite losing LaMarcus Aldridge to an ankle injury.
Martell Webster added 15 points for the Blazers, who have won four in a row and seven of eight against the Clippers.