Thursday, September 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Heat beat Pacers, top East

LeBron James scored 36 points, and the Miami Heat moved back atop the Eastern Conference standings by running past the visiting Indiana Pacers, 98-86, on Friday night.

The Heat scored the first 16 points of the second half and weren't in trouble again. Miami (54-25) leads the Pacers (54-26) by a half-game in the East race.

Mario Chalmers scored 13 and Udonis Haslem added 11 for the Heat.

Paul George scored 22 for Indiana. Pacers center Roy Hibbert had only five points and one rebound.

If the Heat win their remaining games against Atlanta, Washington, and the 76ers, they will have home-court advantage through at least the East finals - which went seven games against Indiana last season.

The Pacers - who sat their starters on Wednesday to rest for this game - still play Oklahoma City and Orlando.

Bucks 119, Cavaliers 116 - Brandon Knight scored 24 points, and Ramon Sessions added 20 as host Milwaukee preserved its slim hopes of avoiding the NBA's worst record. The victory, coupled with the 76ers' loss to Memphis, moved the Bucks to within two games of the Sixers with three games remaining for each team.

Hawks 93, Nets 88 - Atlanta moved closer to clinching a playoff berth, beating host Brooklyn. Forward Paul Millsap had 27 points and 10 rebounds, guard Jeff Teague scored 22 points, and forward DeMarre Carroll had 12 points and nine boards for the Hawks, whose magic number to clinch the No. 8 seed in the East is down to one.

Knicks 108, Raptors 100 - Carmelo Anthony scored 30 points to lift visiting New York to a critical win in its pursuit of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Amar'e Stoudemire had a season-high 24 points for the Knicks, who remained two games behind Atlanta with three games to play.

Spurs 112, Suns 104 - Danny Green had a career-high 33 points, and San Antonio rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat visiting Phoenix and clinch the league's best record.

- Inquirer wire services

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