MIAMI – Dwyane Wade scored 23 points and the Miami Heat extended their winning streak to 19 games, leading wire-to-wire in beating the Atlanta Hawks 98-81 on Tuesday night.
LeBron James scored 15 and Chris Bosh and Mario Chalmers added 14 apiece for the Heat, who matched the fifth-longest streak in NBA history. They will try for their 20th straight win tonight at Philadelphia.
Only three teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 campaign.
Josh Smith scored 15 for the Hawks, who got 12 apiece from Al Horford and Jeff Teague.
Ray Allen scored 12 and Udonis Haslem grabbed 11 rebounds for the Heat, which won easily even with James – who shot 3 for 11 – scoring less than 20 points for the second straight game.
BOBCATS 100, CELTICS 74: In Charlotte, N.C., Gerald Henderson had a career-high 35 points, and Charlotte snapped a 10-game losing streak.
The Celtics, playing without Paul Pierce, looked like a team that has played nine of its last 11 games on the road. Jeff Green and Jordan Crawford each had 14 points for Boston.
LAKERS 106, MAGIC 97: In Orlando, Fla., Dwight Howard scored a season-high 39 points, had 16 rebounds and was sent to the free throw line 39 times by his former team in his first return to Orlando since his drama-filled offseason trade to Los Angeles.
Howard hit 16 of 20 from the line in the second half for the Lakers, who won their fourth straight.
CAVALIERS 95, WIZARDS 90: In Cleveland, Dion Waiters scored 20 points, Alonzo Gee added 17 and Cleveland held off a late Washington run.
John Wall led Washington with a season-high 27 points.
NETS 108, HORNETS 98: In New York, Brook Lopez scored 26 points and had a big dunk over twin brother Robin, Deron Williams added 21 points and 13 assists, and Brooklyn held on with some timely baskets in the fourth quarter.
Eric Gordon led New Orleans with 24 points.
TIMBERWOLVES 107, SPURS 83: In Minneapolis, Ricky Rubio had his first career triple-double with 21 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists to lead Minnesota.
Stephen Jackson had 14 points and Danny Green 10 for the Spurs.
MAVERICKS 115, BUCKS 108: In Milwaukee, Vince Carter hit three key three-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 23 points off the bench as the Dallas won its fourth straight.
Monta Ellis scored 32 points for the Bucks.