THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Monday 24 December 2012
Last update 23 December 2012 11:00 pm
MIAMI: LeBron James scored 30 points, Dwyane Wade added 21 points and seven assists, and the Miami Heat rode the strength of a big third-quarter run to beat the Utah Jazz 105-89 on Saturday night.
James added nine rebounds and seven assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Heat, who won their fourth straight game and next play on Christmas against Oklahoma City in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals. Shane Battier scored 15 and Ray Allen added 13 for Miami, which opened the second half on a 22-6 run to build a 69-49 lead.
Marvin Williams scored 16 for Utah, which got 15 from Gordon Hayward and 11 from Paul Millsap.
The Jazz played the second half without Mo Williams, who appeared to hurt his right thumb. Miami was without Chris Bosh, home with what the team said was a cold.
James has scored at least 20 points in all 24 Heat games this season, matching the longest run of 20-or-more efforts to start a year since Karl Malone did it for Utah in the 1989-90 campaign. It also was the 29th straight regular-season game in which James scored at least 20 points and 45th consecutive overall.
James also didn’t get called for a personal foul for a sixth straight game.
Nuggets 110, Bobcats 88: At Denver,Kosta Koufos scored a season-high 16 points, and Kenneth Faried and Andre Iguodala added 15 points apiece as Denver sent Charlotte to its 15th consecutive loss.
JaVale McGee added 14 points, and Danilo Gallinari had 12 for Denver, which won its sixth in a row at home since its only loss there — 98-93 to Miami on Nov. 15.
Charlotte, playing the second of a back-to-back set on the road, was without injured guards Gerald Henderson and Ben Gordon.
Ramon Sessions had 23 points to lead Charlotte. Byron Mullens added 16.
Hawks 92, Bulls 75: At Atlanta, Al Horford had 20 points and 10 rebounds, and every Atlanta starter scored in double figures as the Hawks routed Chicago to snap a two-game losing streak.
Lou Williams added 16 points in his first start, and the Atlanta native led the way as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 61-33 in the second and third quarters combined.
Luol Deng paced Chicago with 11 points, but the Bulls (15-11) couldn’t build on its 110-106 victory over the Knicks in New York on Friday. The Hawks (16-9), however, bounced back from a poor fourth-quarter performance in a 99-80 loss at Philadelphia.
Atlanta starters outscored Chicago’s starters 72-39 in Hawks coach Larry Drew’s 100th victory (100-73).
Williams started at shooting guard, but began the second quarter playing point guard in place of starter Jeff Teague. Williams had 11 points in the period as the Hawks outscored the Bulls 25-6 over the final 6:58.
Pistons 96, Wizards 87: At Washington, Charlie Villanueva scored 19 points, Rodney Stuckey added 18, and Detroit earned its second win in two nights over Washington.
The Pistons have won consecutive games only twice this season. Detroit grabbed a season-high 58 rebounds for the second straight night.
The Wizards, who trailed throughout, have lost seven straight and are an NBA-worst 3-22. Washington got within 88-81 with 6:15 to play, but didn’t score for nearly four minutes as Detroit stretched its advantage to 94-81 with 2:55 left.
Jordan Crawford, who scored his only point of the first half with 1:05 to play, scored 20 after halftime to lead Washington with 21 overall. Emeka Okafor scored 14 points and tied a season high with 14 rebounds.
Rockets 121, Grizzlies 96: At Houston, James Harden scored 31 points with eight assists, and Houston earned its third straight win by topping Memphis.
The Grizzlies entered the game allowing an NBA-low 89.2 points a game. But they had no answer for Harden. He did all his scoring in the first three quarters and reached at least 20 points for an eighth straight game.
Houston used a big run midway through the second quarter to take the lead, and didn’t trail after that to break a four-game winning streak by the Grizzlies.
Mike Conley had 16 points for the Grizzlies on a night when leading scorer Rudy Gay finished with a season-low six points.
Memphis hadn’t allowed 100 points since the Clippers scored 101 in the season-opener — an NBA-best streak of 23 games. The Rockets needed just over three quarters to reach the mark with a free throw by Jeremy Lin with 9 1-2 minutes left.
It was the Rockets’ 13th straight home victory over the Grizzlies. Memphis hasn’t won in Houston since April 2006.
Lin added 15 points and 11 assists, and Marcus Morris scored 16 points.
Pacers 81, Hornets 75: At New Orleans, David West scored 20 of his 25 points in the second half and Indiana overcame a 22-point deficit to hand New Orleans its 11th straight loss.
Paul George steadied Indiana in the first half with 11 points, and finished with 17 to help the Pacers win for the seventh time in eight games.
Robin Lopez had 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Hornets, stuck in their worst stretch since December 2004. Greivis Vasquez added 14 points, and Anthony Davis had 10.
After the Hornets took a 46-24 lead, the Pacers outscored them 57-29 — including 24-7 in the third quarter.
West scored his 10,000th career point midway through the third quarter.
Cavaliers 94, Bucks 82: At Milwaukee, Dion Waiters scored 18 points and Cleveland snapped a six-game losing streak by beating Milwaukee.
C.J. Miles added 16 points, and Kyrie Irving had 15 for the Cavaliers, who played without starting center Anderson Varejao for the third straight game because of a bruised right knee.
Monta Ellis had a season-high 37 points for Milwaukee. The Bucks had won the previous nine games against the Cavaliers.