Dwyane Wade left Houston with a bloody lip and a season high in points.
Wade scored 45 points and the Miami Heat extended their road winning streak to 10 games with a 125-119 win over the Rockets last night.
Houston point guard Aaron Brooks smacked Wade in the face on a fast break early in the fourth quarter, and Wade crumpled to the floor. He stayed face-down for several seconds, but eventually got up and walked to bench with a towel covering a cut on his upper lip.
He needed stitches to close the cut after the game, but didn’t seem angry with Brooks.
“It doesn’t feel that nice, but it’s just a part of the game and hard fouls are a part of basketball,’’ Wade said. “Unfortunately, I had to get stitches, but it’s fine.
“You’ve got to know the player,’’ Wade said, “and Aaron Brooks is a good guy and not a dirty player.’’
Brooks was whistled for a flagrant foul and hoped to avoid a fine from the NBA.
“Stuff like that happens,’’ Brooks said. “I’m not a vicious player, I wasn’t trying to hurt him. It was a bad attempt at the ball — but it was definitely an attempt at the ball.’’
Wade played the final 10 minutes with a bandage covering the cut, and it didn’t faze him at all.
About two minutes after the hit, Wade drove into Brad Miller, hit an awkward layup and converted another 3-point play to push the Heat’s lead to 100-93.
Wade hit 17 of 24 shots, went 10 for 10 from the free throw line, and pulled down seven rebounds one night after scoring 40 points in a 106-98 win over the New York Knicks.
He reached 45 points for the eighth time, and hit 40 points on consecutive nights for the first time in his career.
LeBron James scored 20 points and had nine assists for the Heat, who set a franchise record with their 15th win in December.
The Heat have won 16 of their past 17 overall. The Rockets were the first opponent to reach 100 points in that span.
“We’re just a different team now,’’ James said. “We go out and understand that no matter what the course of the game may bring, we can always will ourselves to win.’’
Kings 100, Grizzlies 98 — Tyreke Evans made a 3-pointer from midcourt as time expired, lifting host Sacramento to victory. The shot was reviewed by officials and upheld, ending Sacramento’s seven-game losing streak and giving the NBA’s worst team (6-23) only their second win in 18 games.
Moments before Evans’s game-winner, O.J. Mayo gave the Grizzlies a 98-97 lead with an off-balance 22-footer with 1.5 seconds remaining. That shot looked as if it would hold up until Evans took the inbound pass and raced to midcourt before launching the shot.
Lakers 103, Hornets 88 — Lamar Odom responded to his first time out of the starting lineup this season by scoring 24 points as visiting Los Angeles convincingly ended a three-game losing streak.
Kobe Bryant added 20 points and Andrew Bynum, who started for Odom, scored 18. Pau Gasol added 11 points and 12 rebounds as the Lakers snapped out a funk in which they had lost by 15 or more points in their previous three games.
Bobcats 101, Cavaliers 92 — Stephen Jackson scored 38 points, D.J. Augustin added 28, and host Charlotte moved to 2-0 under interim coach Paul Silas. Jackson made 13 of 15 free throws, added 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and had only 2 turnovers two nights after throwing it away nine times. Cleveland suffered its 15th loss in 16 games.
Jazz 103, Clippers 95 — Al Jefferson had 31 points and 10 rebounds as Utah won its fourth straight on the road.
Nuggets 119, Timberwolves 113 — Chauncey Billups scored 15 of his 36 points in the fourth quarter, connecting on three huge 3-pointers to lift shorthanded Denver.
The Nuggets were playing without star Carmelo Anthony for the fifth straight game and were missing starters Kenyon Martin, Nene, and top reserve Al Harrington because of injuries.
76ers 123, Suns 110 — Jrue Holiday scored 25 points and Evan Turner added 23 as visiting Philadelphia handed Phoenix its fourth straight loss.
Vince Carter scored 18 points in his Suns debut after missing four straight games because of a sore knee after he was acquired in a six-player deal Dec. 18.
Thunder 114, Nets 93 — Kevin Durant scored 27 points before taking the fourth quarter off as host Oklahoma City rolled past error-prone New Jersey. The Thunder forced a season-high 23 turnovers and improved to 10-1 after a loss this season.
Hawks 103, Warriors 93 — Josh Smith had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Al Horford had 21 points and 15 rebounds, and host Atlanta won for the fourth time in five games.
Wizards 104, Pacers 90 — Nick Young had 25 points and nine rebounds to help Washington hand Indiana its seventh straight loss on the road.