Chris Paul scored 22 points and passed out seven assists to spark the Los Angeles Clippers to their sixth victory in seven games, a 100-93 triumph Sunday at Miami.
Jamal Crawford added 20 points while J.J. Redick netted 14 points and DeAndre Jordan and Cole Aldrich each grabbed 11 rebounds for the Clippers, who won for the 11th time in their past 13 road games.
The Heat (29-23) were denied a seventh win in eight games despite 17 points each from Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Slovenia’s Goran Dragic plus 15 from Britain’s Luol Deng.
Paul missed his first nine shots from the floor, but sank back-to-back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter to prevent a Heat rally.
“Just kept shooting it. Sooner or later it has got to go in,” Paul said. “Just had to stay aggressive and I finally started making shots.”
At New York, Denver’s Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each scored 19 points to power the Denver Nuggets over the host Knicks 101-96.
Barton added 11 rebounds for the Nuggets (21-31) while rookie guard Emmanuel Mudiay added 15 points, nine of them in the fourth quarter.
Carmelo Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis each netted 21 points but the Knicks (23-31) suffered their season-high fifth consecutive loss and ninth defeat in the past 10 games.
Anthony missed a tying 3-point try in the final seconds and Barton sank four free throws in the final seven seconds to seal Denver’s victory.
Anthony, who returned after missing three games with left knee tendinitis, is shooting a career-low 42.4 percent from the field this season.
VUCEVIC POWERS MAGIC WIN
Orlando centre Nikola Vucevic of Montenegro scored the last of his 22 points on a game-winning fallaway jumper as time expired to give the Magic a 96-94 victory over visiting Atlanta.
Evan Fournier scored 21 points and Victor Oladipo had 19 to help the Magic (22-28) snap Atlanta’s three-game win streak while Jeff Teague led the Hawks (30-23) with 24 points and five assists while Kent Bazemore contributed 23 points and eight rebounds.
At Boston, Avery Bradley scored 25 points and Isiah Thomas added 22 as the Boston Celtics beat Sacramento 128-119 for their ninth win in 10 games, stretching their home-court win streak to seven games with a season-high point total.
The Kings (21-30) suffered their fifth road loss in a row and seventh defeat in eight games amid reports that coach George Karl’s job is in jeopardy.
“I don’t think I’m in limbo,” Karl said. “I don’t have any control over what other people are thinking or saying. That’s their storm. Once something gets out, it magnifies and grows and becomes a storm. That’s not my storm.”
The Celtics (31-22) led by 21 points in the third quarter before Sacramento rallied within five in the last two minutes, only to have Thomas score nine points to end the threat.
Boston’s Jared Sullinger matched a season high with 21 points and reserve centre Tyler Zeller netted a season-high 17 points.
DeMarcus Cousins scored 31 points for the Kings while former Boston star Rajon Rondo, booed every time he touched the ball, added 14 points, five assists and six steals.