Hot-shooting Miami produced its best half in franchise history and romped over the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 124-105 on a Saturday night when the Heat retired the jersey of iconic guard Dwyane Wade.
Playing without top scorer Jimmy Butler (personal reasons), the Heat made 14 of their first 17 shots and raced out to their best half ever by leading 82-52 at the break. Kendrick Nunn tallied 24 points and eight assists to lead seven Miami players who scored in double figures.
The Cavaliers were paced by Cedi Osman’s 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while Collin Sexton added 17 points and Tristan Thompson scored 16.
At halftime, the Heat honored Wade — their 13-time All-Star — whose No. 3 jersey was retired and raised to the rafters at AmericanAirlines Arena. Wade, 38, helped Miami to three NBA championships and is the organization’s all-time leader in games, points, assists and steals.
Houston Rockets 120 – Utah Jazz 110
James Harden scored 38 points, Russell Westbrook added 34 and Houston beat Utah on the road for the second time in four weeks.
Harden added five rebounds and seven assists, and it was his sixth 3-pointer with 2:13 remaining that silenced the Jazz once and for all. Eric Gordon and Ben McLemore scored 12 points apiece off the bench for the Rockets, who finished 20 of 48 from behind the arc.
Donovan Mitchell paced the Jazz with 31 points while Jordan Clarkson added 22 off the bench. Utah posted a whopping 64 paint points, but that wasn’t enough to offset the Rockets’ shooting.
Atlanta Hawks 111 – Dallas Mavericks 107
John Collins tied his career high with 35 points and Trae Young scored 13 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to help host Atlanta overcome an 11-point deficit in the period to defeat short-handed Dallas.
Dallas opted to rest Luca Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis on the second end of a back-to-back. The Mavericks also lost Jalen Brunson, who started in place of Doncic, with a right shoulder sprain early in the first quarter.
The Mavericks’ Tim Hardaway matched his season high with 33 points, including six 3-pointers. Seth Curry scored 22 points and made four 3s. Collins was 13-for-18 from the floor, including 3-for-3 on 3-pointers, and added 17 rebounds. Cam Reddish scored 20 for the Hawks, who won their second straight.
Milwaukee Bucks 119 – Philadelphia 76ers 98
Giannis Antetokounmpo collected 31 points, 17 rebounds and eight assists to lift host Milwaukee to a wire-to-wire win over Philadelphia.
Antetokounmpo shot 12 of 17 from the field for the Bucks, who have won 21 of 24 games since dropping a 121-109 decision to Philadelphia on Christmas Day. Khris Middleton added 25 points and nine rebounds as the Bucks sent road-challenged Philadelphia to its sixth straight loss away from home.
To make matters worse for Philadelphia was the early departure of All-Star Ben Simmons, who aggravated a back injury on a layup midway into the first quarter. He promptly retreated to the locker room and did not return, scoring just five points in five minutes. He will undergo an MRI on his lower back on Sunday.
Brooklyn Nets 115 – Charlotte Hornets 86
Reserve Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot’s 21 points and Caris LeVert’s 17 points led eight players in double-figure scoring as Brooklyn dominated host Charlotte en route to a victory.
Garrett Temple (15 points), Taurean Prince (14), Joe Harris (12), Jarrett Allen (12), DeAndre Jordan (12) and Spencer Dinwiddie (10) also reached double digits.
PJ Washington posted 16 points, Malik Monk had 15 points, Cody Zeller had 14 with nine rebounds and Miles Bridges added 13 points for Charlotte. Terry Rozier had 10 points.
Sacramento Kings 112 – Los Angeles Clippers 103
Kent Bazemore scored a season-high 23 points off the bench, while De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic added 20 points each as Sacramento defeated host Los Angeles.
Harry Giles III had 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Harrison Barnes chipped in 13 points for Sacramento. Nemanja Bjelica contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. Fox had a team-high eight assists for the Kings, who have won five of their last seven.
Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Clippers, who lost their third in a row. Lou Williams finished with 24 points and Montrezl Harrell had 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Los Angeles.
Phoenix Suns 112 – Chicago Bulls 104
Behind 28 points and 19 rebounds from Deandre Ayton, visiting Phoenix rallied from down 10 points at halftime to beat Chicago.
The Bulls led by as many as 17 points in the second quarter. Coby White came off the bench to set the pace, finishing with a career-high 33 points. But the Suns chipped away before halftime, then set the tone for the second half by scoring the third quarter’s first 13 points.
A 10-point deficit became a three-point lead in less than four minutes. Phoenix took its first lead since the first quarter when Devin Booker knocked down a 3-pointer, one of the five he made on the night en route to a team-high 29 points. Booker also collected five rebounds and five assists.
—Field Level Media