The Houston Rockets became the third team in NBA history to win 20 consecutive games, tying for the league's second-longest winning streak with an 83-75 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
|Tracy McGrady, left, had a big second half [AFP]|
The Rockets joined the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33 straight) and 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20) as the only teams to win 20 or more in a row.
Tracy McGrady scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half and Shane Battier had 15 points as Houston struggled to preserve their winning streak.
They were held to their lowest first-half total during the span and trailed 33-32 at halftime.
A basket by Atlanta's Marvin Williams with 5 seconds left in the game ended the Rockets' streak of 10 straight wins by 10 or more points.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 28 points, and Josh Smith had 16 points and a career-high 22 rebounds.
Nets 104, Cavaliers 99
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Richard Jefferson scored 24 points, and New Jersey overcame LeBron James' 42 points to hold off Cleveland and snap a six-game losing streak.
Bostjan Nachbar added 21 points and Devin Harris had 19, including three buckets in the last four-plus minutes after Cleveland had cut a 19-point lead
Magic 110, Clippers 88
At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had his league-leading 57th double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds for the Orlando, which improved to 24-0 this season when holding teams under 95 points.
Corey Maggette led Los Angeles with 22 points, but scored only two in the second half.
Knicks 91, Heat 88
At Miami, Jamal Crawford scored 23 points, and New York wasted most of a 14-point fourth-quarter lead before beating the Miami and snapping a seven-game losing streak.
The Heat lost for the 33rd time in 36 games and extended the NBA's worst record to 11-52. Ricky Davis led Miami with 27 points.
Celtics 111, SuperSonics 82
|Andre Iguodala had 22 points |
for the 76ers [AFP]
At Boston, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen each scored 18 points to lift Boston to a 10th straight victory. Paul Pierce added 14 points and 11 assists for Boston, which improved to 12-0 at home against the Western Conference.
Kevin Durant scored 16 points for Seattle, which dropped its sixth straight.
76ers 83, Pistons 82
At Auburn Hills, Michigan, Andre Iguodala scored 22 points and Philadelphia didn't score in the final 2:27, but won when Chauncey Billups' jumper over Rodney Carney bounced off the rim as time expired.
Carney scored 16 points for Philadelphia, and Samuel Dalembert grabbed 15 rebounds.
Rasheed Wallace had 17 points for Detroit, while Antonio McDyess added 14 points and 11 rebounds.
Hornets 100, Spurs 75
At New Orleans, Chris Paul had 26 points and 17 assists to help New Orleans take a convincing victory over Southwest Division-leading San Antonio.
David West, returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him for three games, had 29 points and 10 rebounds as New Orleans pulled within a half-game of the division lead behind the Spurs and Houston Rockets.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which shot only 2-of-18 from 3-point range and a dreadful 7-of-17 on free throws.
Jazz 114, Bucks 110
|Carlos Boozer kept a cool head when it was |
needed most for the Jazz [AFP]
At Milwaukee, Carlos Boozer had a go-ahead layup with 46.7 seconds and Utah narrowly avoided another surprising road loss. Deron Williams led Utah with 26 points and 13 assists, his ninth straight double-double.
Charlie Villanueva and Michael Redd scored 26 points each to lead Milwaukee, which nearly pulled out a victory thanks to Charlie Bell's season high five 3-pointers that allowed Milwaukee to take a 99-89 lead.
Mavericks 118, Bobcats 93
At Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki scored 26 points in 28 minutes, and Josh Howard added 24 points as Dallas snapped Charlotte's franchise-record five-game winning streak.
The Bobcats have never beaten the Mavericks, or even scored 100 points against them, in the eight-game series. Raymond Felton had 21 points to lead Charlotte.
Nuggets 108, Grizzlies 86
At Denver, Kenyon Martin scored 23 points, and Carmelo Anthony had 14 points and 13 rebounds to lead Denver.
Allen Iverson played with a fractured ring finger on his right hand and had just eight points on 2-for-12 shooting and didn't play in the fourth quarter.
Juan Carlos Navarro had 16 points off the bench for Memphis, which has lost 16 straight road games.
Warriors 117, Raptors 106
At Oakland, California, Monta Ellis scored 33 points, and Baron Davis had 23 points and 15 assists in the Golden State Warriors' seventh victory in eight games.
T.J. Ford scored 13 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter for the Raptors, who lost for the sixth time in eight games. Toronto played its seventh straight game without leading scorer Chris Bosh, who hopes to return from his sore right knee during the trip.