Miami clinches playoffs
James scores 41 to help Heat sweep away Sixers
LeBron James arrived at work a little earlier than usual Tuesday, warming up more than three hours before tip-off with hopes of finding his rhythm.
With Dwyane Wade out, Miami needed some extra offense - and James delivered.
James scored 14 straight Miami points in the fourth quarter and finished with a season-high 41, helping the Heat clinch a playoff spot with a 99-93 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Miami.
“It was a grind,’’ Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “No question, it was a grind.’’
Mario Chalmers had 19 points, Chris Bosh scored 17 and Udonis Haslem grabbed 11 rebounds for Miami, which improved to 9-1 without Wade this season. Wade sat with a bruised left knee.
Evan Turner scored 26 points for Philadelphia, which fell 1 1/2 games behind Boston in the Atlantic Division. Lou Williams scored 18, Spencer Hawes added 12 and Andre Iguodala had 11 before leaving in the third quarter with a left eye contusion.
It was just the fourth time in 24 games this season that the 76ers shot at least 45 percent and lost.
“We got right there . . . We just couldn’t get over that hump,’’ Williams said.
Pacers 112, Knicks 104 - Danny Granger scored 14 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, and Indiana rallied from 17 points down in the second half to top New York in Indianapolis.
The Pacers outscored the Knicks, 40-17, in the final 12 minutes.
Paul George scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter. Indiana reserves Leandro Barbosa and Dahntay Jones added 12 points each for the Pacers.
Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 39 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Knicks.
New York is battling for a playoff spot without two of its best players. Forward Amare Stoudemire (back) missed a fifth straight game, and point guard Jeremy Lin is out for the regular season after having surgery on his left knee.
Landry Fields scored 15 points and Tyson Chandler added 12 points and 14 rebounds for New York, which fell to 9-3 under interim coach Mike Woodson.
Indiana led, 101-93, in the fourth quarter before New York rallied. A 3-point play, then a 3-pointer by Anthony cut Indiana’s lead to 101-99.
The Pacers led, 106-102, and New York had another chance to get close. Anthony’s 3-pointer from the left wing was off and Paul George rebounded. He was fouled and made two free throws. George then stole J.R. Smith’s inbounds pass and dunked. On the way downcourt, Smith threw Barbosa to the ground, was called for a flagrant 2 and ejected.
Spurs 125, Cavaliers 90 - Danny Green scored 19 points against a team that released him last season and Tony Parker added 19 as San Antonio coasted in Cleveland for its eighth straight win.
Green played his rookie season for the Cavaliers, who cut him at the end of training camp in 2011. He’s found a new home with the Spurs, who built a 22-point lead in the first half and rested stars Parker, Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili for most of the fourth quarter.
Rookie Kyrie Irving scored 13 points for the Cavs in his return after missing one game with a sprained right shoulder.
Pistons 102, Magic 95 - Greg Monroe had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and Detroit dumped depleted Orlando in Auburn, Hills, Mich.
The Magic were without starters Dwight Howard, Jameer Nelson, and Ryan Anderson because of injuries.
Ben Gordon added 18 points for the Pistons. Jason Maxiell and Tayshaun Prince had 15 each, and Jonas Jerebko contributed 13.
Glen Davis, who started at center in Howard’s place, led Orlando with a career-high 31. The Magic have lost four straight, equaling their longest skid of the season.
Detroit shot 12 of 18 from the field in the fourth quarter.
Lakers 91, Nets 87 - Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and rattled home a 3-pointer with 6.8 seconds left, and host Los Angeles blew every bit of a 17-point lead before holding on to down New Jersey.
Raptors 92, Bobcats 87 - Andrea Bargnani scored 30 points, DeMar DeRozan had 20 and host Toronto ended a six-game losing streak to lowly Charlotte. The Bobcats have not won since a home victory over the Raptors March 17.
Grizzlies 98, Warriors 94 - O.J. Mayo scored 19 points, Mike Conley added 18 and host Memphis overcame a lackluster performance with a fourth-quarter rally to defeat Golden State.
Suns 109, Kings 100 - Marcin Gortat had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Steve Nash added 18 points and 12 assists and visiting Phoenix overcame a career-high 41 points from DeMarcus Cousins to hold off Sacramento.