PHILADELPHIA — LeBron James scored 27 points and the Miami Heat became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to beat the Philadelphia 76ers 98-94 on Wednesday night.
Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to top the Sixers for the milestone win.
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.
New Orleans native Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers.
Hawks 96, Lakers 92: In Atlanta, Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and shorthanded Atlanta shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant, snapping a three-game losing streak with a victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on Dahntay Jones’ foot and twisted his left ankle, crumpling to the court in pain.
Bryant hobbled off and Kyle Korver knocked down two free throws to clinch it.
C eltics 112, Raptors 88 : In Boston, Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as the Boston Celtics beat the Toronto Raptors 112-88 on Wednesday night.
Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points shy of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.
Pacers 107, Timberwolves 91: In Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead Indiana to a victory over Minnesota.
Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second win in three games.
Ricky Rubio had 21 points and 10 assists and Luke Ridnour scored 17 points for the Timberwolves.
Wizards 106, Bucks 93: In Washington, John Wall had 23 points and 10 assists, and Washington beat Milwaukee.
Wall and Wizards coach Randy Wittman appeared to exchange unpleasant words during a timeout late in the third quarter, but Wall rallied with eight fourth-quarter points to hold off the Bucks’ comeback.
It was Wall’s seventh double-double of the season. He also added six rebounds and four steals.
The Wizards (21-42) have won three straight home games and eight of 11 in Washington.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Bucks (32-31).