NBA Roundup

Heat bench picks up where Wade left off

Associated Press / March 15, 2010

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Dwyane Wade was the first player off the bench, greeting teammates with hand slaps, fist bumps, and a grin.

The celebration came after Wade’s supporting cast came through during a decisive stretch to start the fourth quarter yesterday, helping the Miami Heat beat the visiting Philadelphia 76ers, 104-91.

“It was great to see the second unit come in and push the lead up,’’ Wade said. “That’s the only way you’re successful in this league.’’

With Wade resting on the bench and center Jermaine O’Neal out after being ejected, the Heat went on a 14-3 run to start the final period. James Jones sank a pair of 3-pointers during the spurt, and Jamaal Magloire’s running dunk punctuated it to give Miami a 16-point advantage.

While the reserves shined, Wade still had the biggest impact — 38 points, including two early dunks, five steals and five rebounds.

O’Neal was ejected midway through the third quarter after grabbing Samuel Dalembert’s face during a confrontation. Miami also played a second game in a row without second-leading scorer Michael Beasley, sidelined with a bruised left thigh.

Suns 120, Hornets 106 — Steve Nash had 13 points and 12 assists in his 1,000th NBA game and Amare Stoudemire, his favorite receiver, had a dominant 36-point, 12-rebound performance for Phoenix in beating visiting New Orleans.

Nash, in his 14th NBA season, became the 10th active player in the league to reach the 1,000-game milestone.

Stoudemire, playing just 32 minutes, topped 30 points for the fourth time in five games. The exception was a 29-point effort against the Los Angeles Lakers Friday night.

The Hornets, with only eight players in uniform for the second game in a row, have lost 9 of 11. Marcus Thornton scored 28 points and David West scored 24 for New Orleans.

Thunder 119, Jazz 111 — Kevin Durant scored 35 points, Russell Westbrook added 30 points and 11 assists, and host Oklahoma City made up ground in the race for home-court advantage in the playoffs with a victory over shorthanded Utah.

Oklahoma City has won 17 of its last 20 games and will finish no worse than .500 after going 23-59 last season.

Wesley Matthews hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points for the Jazz, who played without injured starters Mehmet Okur (back) and Andrei Kirilenko (calf).

Kings 114, Timberwolves 100 — Rookie Tyreke Evans had 29 points, 11 assists, and 9 rebounds to lead host Sacramento over Minnesota.

Evans, who recorded his first career triple double Wednesday against Toronto, scored 24 points in the opening half to help Sacramento assume a 64-49 lead.

The Kings scored 15 unanswered points in the first five minutes of the third quarter, including 11 from streaky-shooting Donte Greene, to push the lead to 30.

Bobcats 96, Magic 89 — Stephen Jackson scored 28 points and Raymond Felton had 16 as visiting Charlotte held on to tie a franchise record with its sixth straight victory.

Dwight Howard had 27 points and 16 rebounds, and Vince Carter finished with 23 points for the Magic, who had their eight-game winning streak snapped. Mickael Pietrus added 20 points in place of injured starter Matt Barnes, sidelined with a sprained left big toe.

Bucks 98, Pacers 94 — Jerry Stackhouse tied his season high with 20 points and host Milwaukee survived a late rally from shorthanded Indiana for its sixth straight win.

Trail Blazers 109, Raptors 98 — Nicolas Batum scored 22 points, making 5 of 6 3-point attempts as host Portland won its fourth straight.

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