Miami’s winning streak was in danger of disappearing — in Cleveland, of all places.
But LeBron James wouldn’t give up.
‘‘That guy right there doesn’t want to lose in this building,’’ teammate Dwyane Wade said, nodding toward James, who left many angry Cavaliers fans behind when he bolted for Miami as a free agent three years ago. ‘‘Not tonight.’’
James scored 25 points as the Heat overcame a 27-point deficit in the third quarter and won their 24th straight game, 98-95, over the shorthanded Cleveland Cavaliers Wednesday night to extend the second-longest winning streak in NBA history.The Heat are within nine games of matching the record of 33 consecutive wins held by the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers.
For more than 30 minutes, the Heat seemed on the verge of losing for the first time since Feb. 1. Miami trailed 67-40 with 7:44 left in the third quarter.
But behind James, who added 12 rebounds and 10 assists in 42 minutes, the Heat inched closer to history and matched the NBA’s biggest comeback this season, according to STATS.
Grizzlies 90, Thunder 89 — Marc Gasol tipped in Zach Randolph’s miss with less than a second left in overtime to give host Memphis the victory over Oklahoma City.
In a game that had all the intensity of a playoff matchup, Jerryd Bayless connected from the top of the key for Memphis with 3.7 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime. Bayless had 10 points in the fourth quarter.
After Gasol’s tip over Kevin Durant put the Grizzlies ahead, Russell Westbrook’s desperation shot from past halfcourt was off the mark and Memphis walked away with its 16th victory in 19 games.
Knicks 106, Magic 94 — Carmelo Anthony scored 21 points after missing the previous three games with a knee injury, and host New York topped Orlando.
J.R. Smith had 22 points for New York, still shorthanded in the frontcourt but looking much better with Anthony back. The NBA’s second-leading scorer hadn’t played since leaving the Knicks’ road trip last week to have fluid drained from the back of his right knee.
Spurs 104, Warriors 93 — Tim Duncan had 25 points, 13 rebounds, 6 assists, and 4 blocks to lift host San Antonio over Golden State.
Tiago Splitter added 17 points, Manu Ginobili had 16 points and seven assists and fellow reserve Nando De Colo had 10 points for San Antonio.
Rockets 100, Jazz 93 — James Harden had 29 points and host Houston improved its positioning in the Western Conference playoff race with a win over Utah.
Jeremy Lin added 24 for the Rockets, who currently hold the No. 7 spot in the West. They lead the idle Los Angeles Lakers by 1½ games and are three ahead of the sliding Jazz.
Nets 113, Mavericks 96 — Brooklyn’s Brook Lopez scored 38 points and Deron Williams had 31 in his first visit to Dallas since spurning his hometown team in free agency.
Hawks 98, Bucks 90 — Jeff Teague scored 27 points and Al Horford had 26, taking control after a sluggish first quarter to lead host Atlanta past Milwaukee.
Bobcats 107, Raptors 101 — Byron Mullens scored 25 points, Gerald Henderson had another solid all-around game and host Charlotte beat Toronto to win consecutive games for the first time since the middle of November. Rudy Gay had 25 points for the Raptors.
Wizards 88, Suns 79 — John Wall scored 19 points and Washington earned its first victory in Phoenix in more than six years.
Clippers 101, 76ers 72 — Chris Paul scored 19 points, Caron Butler added 14 and host Los Angeles routed Philadelphia.