Vince Carter scored 25 of his 29 points after nearly being knocked out by an elbow to the head, and the inconsistent New Jersey Nets ran off 21 straight points to stun the visiting Dallas Mavericks, 101-82, last night.
Richard Jefferson added 19 points and Jason Kidd put aside trade rumors again to finish with 13 points, 14 assists and six rebounds, falling four rebounds shy of his 100th career triple double.
The 21-point run bridged the end of the second quarter and start of the third, and it was part of a 36-6 spurt that turned a 36-25 deficit into a 61-42 lead.
Josh Boone (South Carroll) and rookie Sean Williams, who had 15 points, did a great job of frustrating Dirk Nowitzki, limiting the All-Star forward to 21 points on 4-for-16 shooting. Nowitzki had only 10 points after the first quarter, and most of those were in garbage time in the fourth quarter.
Josh Howard added 16 points for Dallas, which had a three-game winning streak end. The 19-point losing margin was the second largest of the season for the Mavericks.
Lakers 104, Heat 94 -- Kobe Bryant scored 33 points, and Los Angeles used a 16-2 second-half run to pull away and beat skidding Miami in the Heat's first home game of its post-Shaquille O'Neal era. Dwyane Wade scored 19 for Miami, and Shawn Marion, playing his first game for the Heat since Wednesday's stunning deal that sent O'Neal to the Suns for him and Marcus Banks, finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Celtics 98, Spurs 90 -- Paul Pierce scored 35 points, Ray Allen added 19, and Rajon Rondo had 12 assists and 11 rebounds as host Boston beat San Antonio. Tim Duncan had 22 points, 14 rebounds and six assists, and Manu Ginobili scored 21 for the Spurs, who lost for the first time in five games. The Celtics improved to 5-2 since Kevin Garnett went out with an abdominal strain. Garnett will miss the All-Star Game and was replaced by the Pistons' Rasheed Wallace.
Nuggets 113, Cavaliers 83 -- Carmelo Anthony (Towson Catholic) scored 27 points, All-Star sidekick Allen Iverson added 25 and Denver rolled to a road win over listless Cleveland. LeBron James scored 30 points for Cleveland.
Pistons 113, Bobcats 87 -- Tayshaun Prince scored 14 of his 21 points in the first quarter and Detroit won its seventh straight game, over visiting Charlotte. Richard Hamilton added 18 for the Pistons, who had seven players with at least eight points.
Raptors 105, Timberwolves 82 -- Andrea Bargnani scored 16 points and Jose Calderon had 15 points and 10 assists for his second straight double double to help Toronto beat host Minnesota. All-Star Chris Bosh added 14 points for the Raptors.
Consecutive victories for the Rockets, the team's longest winning streak since it closed the 2004-05 regular season with seven straight wins