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Heat close in on Pacers' east top spot

By Chris Pike
19 December 2013 08:00PM EST

MIAMI closed in on eastern conference leaders Indiana by downing the Pacers in a Wednesday night NBA thriller with Detroit, New York and San Antonio also recording tight victories.

There were 12 matches in the NBA with Miami beating Indiana 97-94, Utah beating Orlando 86-82, Charlotte downing Toronto 104-102, Atlanta beating Sacramento 124-107, Detroit winning a thriller over Boston 107-106, and Washington beating Brooklyn 113-107.

New York beat Milwaukee 107-101 in double overtime while Minnesota beat Portland 120-109, Dallas downed Memphis 105-91, San Antonio beat Phoenix 108-101, Houston thrashed Chicago 109-94 and the Clippers beat New Orleans 108-95.

Miami closed to within just one-game of Indiana's eastern conference leading record with the Heat winning a thriller at home by three points over the Pacers on Wednesday night.

The Pacers led by as much as 15 points throughout the night and looked in control when up 92-85 with just over three minutes remaining, but the Heat caught fire at both ends of the floor down the stretch to score 12 of the last 14 points in the match to improve to a 19-6 record on the season.

Miami guard Dwyane Wade scored his first 30-point plus game of the season finishing the night with 32 points on the back of 15-of-25 shooting from the field.

LeBron James added 24 points, nine rebounds and seven assists while shooting 8-of-14 from the floor while Chris Bosh had 15 points and eight rebounds.

Paul George did all he could for the Pacers with 25 points, eight rebounds and six assists with David West adding 23 points. Lance Stephenson also had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Two of the NBA's worst teams did battle in Orlando with Utah prevailing by four points to improve to a 7-21 record against the now 8-18 Magic.

Rookie Trey Burke had a career-high 30 points, seven rebounds and eight assists to lead Utah to the victory.

Gordon Hayward added 15 points for the Jazz, Derrick Favors 14 and Alec Burks 13.

Point guard Jameer Nelson top-scored for the Magic with 17 points while Tobias Harris added 14, Nikola Vucevic 14, Glen Davis 12 and E'Twaun Moore 10.

Charlotte snapped a three-game losing streak to beat the Raptors in Toronto by two points in overtime thanks to a mid-range buzzer-beating jumper from point guard Kemba Walker.

Walker was the star of the night for the Bobcats finishing with 29 points and five rebounds while shooting 10-of-18 from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point territory.

Al Jefferson worked tirelessly for Charlotte as well with 24 points and 11 rebounds with Josh McRoberts scoring 13 points, Gerald Henderson 11, Ramon Sessions 11 and Anthony Tolliver 10.

DeMar DeRozan led the way for the Raptors with 30 points and six rebounds with point guard Kyle Lowry adding 17 points and six assists.

John Salmons scored 11 points, Amir Johnson 10 and Jonas Valanciunas 10.

Atlanta continued its strong run of recent form improving to a 14-12 record with a 22-point thrashing at home of Sacramento thanks to a 39-point to 20 final quarter.

Kyle Korver equalled his career-high by nailing eight-three pointers and scoring an equal game high of 28 points for the Hawks.

Centre Al Horford added 25 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and four rebounds for the Hawks while DeMarre Carroll scored 15 points, Paul Millsap 14 and Mike Scott 10.

Point guard Jeff Teague had a good night with 18 points, 15 assists and eight rebounds on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor.

Sacramento centre DeMarcus Cousins finished with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists with Rudy Gay adding 22 points.

Isaiah Thomas added 20 points and 10 assists, Derrick Williams 12 points and Ben McLemore 10.

Boston got off to a hot start at home to Detroit on Wednesday hitting a season-high 42 points to lead by as much as 21 points, but the Pistons fought back from there to end up winning a thriller by a point.

Point guard Brandon Jennings led the way for Detroit with 28 points and 14 rebounds while he hit 5-of-8 from three-point range.

Josh Smith added 20 points and four rebounds for the Pistons while Andre Drummond had 14 points and 16 rebounds. Greg Monroe scored 12 points and Kyle Singler 11.

Jared Sullinger top-scored for the Celtics with 19 points to go with his eight rebounds and four assists while Jordan Crawford added 17 points, Avery Bradley 14, Jeff Green 13, Brandon Bass 11, Kris Humphries 10 and Courtney Lee 10.

Washington won its second game this week in New York backing up Monday's win over the Knicks with a close road win on Wednesday by six points over Brooklyn.

John Wall led the way for the Wizards with 21 points and six assists while Nene scored 17 points, Trevor Ariza 15, Bradley Beal 15, Martell Webster 13, Marcin Gortat 10 and Kevin Seraphin 10.

Paul Pierce did all he could for the Nets off the bench with 27 points, six rebounds and three assists on the back of shooting 10-of-12 from the field and 3-of-5 from three-point range.

Centre Brook Lopez also had 22 points and five boards for Brooklyn with Joe Johnson scoring 20 points, Deron Williams 15 (13 assists) and Andray Blatche 12.

Even without Raymond Felton, Kenyon Martin, Pablo Prigioni and Amare Stoudemire, New York managed to score a six-point road win over Milwaukee in double overtime.

Carmelo Anthony led the way for the now 8-17 Knicks with 29 points and nine rebounds even though he shot just 9-of-29 from the field. He did hit 4-of-7 from downtown though.

Beno Udrih added 21 points for the Knicks, JR Smith 19 and Andrea Bargnani 12.

Centre Tyson Chandler made a welcome return as well and had nine points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 36 minutes for New York.

Point guard Brandon Knight had a huge night for the Bucks with 36 points, nine rebounds and three assists while hitting 13-of-25 from the field, and 6-of-12 from long range.

John Henson added 20 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee while Khris Middleton had 20 points, Ersan Ilyasova 11 and Giannis Antetokounmpo 10.

The big man punch of Kevin Love and Nikola Pekovic proved too much for the on-fire Portland to handle in Minnesota with the Timberwolves pulling out an impressive 11-point victory over the best team in the NBA.

Pekovic top-scored for the Timberwolves with 30 points and nine rebounds while Love added 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists.

Kevin Martin also scored 22 points for the victors with Jose Barea adding 10 off the bench.

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard did all he could with 36 points, six rebounds and six assists while nailing seven three-pointers.

Nicolas Batum scored 20 points, Wesley Matthews 16 and LaMarcus Aldridge had a relatively quiet night with 15 points and 14 rebounds on 7-of-22 shooting from the field.

Dallas then improved to a 15-10 record scoring an impressive 14-point win at home over Memphis.

Dirk Nowitzki led the way for the Mavericks with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists while Monta Ellis added 18 points, Vince Carter 14, Jose Calderon 12 and Shawn Marion 10.

Memphis became the first team with at least 22 offensive rebounds to record more offensive than defensive rebounds in a game since Seattle did it on February 15, 1994 against the 76ers.

Tony Allen worked hard for the Grizzlies with 16 points and 11 rebounds with Zach Randolph adding 14 points and nine boards.

Jon Leuer also had 14 points for Memphis, Ed Davis 12 and James Johnson 11.

Two of the form teams in the NBA did battle in Phoenix with San Antonio prevailing in the finish by seven points to improve to a 20-5 record over the now 14-10 Suns.

Manu Ginobili led the way for the Spurs off the bench with 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds while Tim Duncan added 17 points, 13 boards and three blocks.

Kawhi Leonard scored 14 points and pulled in six rebounds for San Antonio while Australian guard Patty Mills hit 12 points and dished out four assists in almost 31 minutes off the bench.

Channing Frye led the way for Phoenix with 22 points while Miles Plumlee added 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Goran Dragic scored 18 points for the Suns, Eric Bledsoe 15 and Markieff Morris 12.

Houston improved to a 17-9 record with a comfortable 15-point thrashing at home of a Chicago team still struggling to find a way to play well in the absence of star point guard Derrick Rose.

The Bulls have now lost 13 of their last 15 matches in the franchise's worst 15-game stretch since they opened the 2004/05 season 2-13.

Dwight Howard led the way for the Rockets with 23 points and nine rebounds with James Harden scoring 19 points, Chandler Parsons 19, Patrick Beverley 15 and Omri Casspi 11.

Jimmy Butler scored 20 points for Chicago, Luol Deng 18, Carlos Boozer 17 and Taj Gibson 14.

The Clippers improved to an 18-9 record with a solid 13-point win at the Staples Centre over New Orleans.

Blake Griffin led the way for the Clippers with 21 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

Chris Paul had 12 points and 11 assists, and DeAndre Jordan 14 points and 20 rebounds while Jared Dudley scored 20 points, Jamal Crawford 17, Darren Collison 14 and Willie Green 10.

Anthony Davis top-scored for the Pelicans off the bench with 24 points and 12 rebounds while Ryan Anderson scored 17 points, Jrue Holiday 13, Tyreke Evans 11 and Anthony Morrow 11.

NBA Results Wednesday December 18
Indiana Pacers (20-5) 94 lost to Miami Heat (19-6) 97
Utah Jazz (7-21) 86 defeated Orlando Magic (8-18) 82
Charlotte Bobcats (12-14) 104 lost to Toronto Raptors (9-14) 102
Sacramento Kings (7-17) 107 lost to Atlanta Hawks (14-12) 124
Detroit Pistons (13-14) 107 defeated Boston Celtics (12-15) 106
Washington Wizards (11-13) 113 defeated Brooklyn Nets (9-16) 107
New York Knicks (8-17) 107 defeated Milwaukee Bucks (5-20) 101
Portland Trail Blazers (22-5) 109 lost to Minnesota Timberwolves (13-13) 120
Memphis Grizzlies (10-15) 91 lost to Dallas Mavericks (15-10) 105
San Antonio Spurs (20-5) 108 defeated Phoenix Suns (14-10) 101
Chicago Bulls (9-15) 94 lost to Houston Rockets (17-9) 109
New Orleans Pelicans (11-13) 95 lost to LA Clippers (18-9) 108

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