THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published — Saturday 22 December 2012
Last update 21 December 2012 10:14 pm
MINNEAPOLIS: J.J. Barea scored 14 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Timberwolves ended Oklahoma City’s 12-game winning streak with a 99-93 victory over the Thunder on Thursday night.
Kevin Love had 28 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists and Nikola Pekovic had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota. But it was Barea who was the key, scoring 12 straight at one point for the Wolves to hold off the team with the best record in the league. Kevin Durant had 33 points, seven rebounds and six assists and Russell Westbrook had 30 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder, who had not lost a game since Nov. 23 at Boston.
HEAT 110, MAVERICKS 95: At Dallas, LeBron James scored 24 points with some early baskets on nifty passes from Dwyane Wade, and Miami rolled to a victory over the injury plagued Mavericks.
James has scored at least 20 points in all 23 games, the longest streak to start an NBA season since Karl Malone’s 24 in a row opening the 1989-90 season.
Dallas, still waiting for the season debut of 11-time All-Star Dirk Nowitzki after right knee surgery, was also without starting point guard Derek Fisher (right knee) and post players Elton Brand (right groin) and Brandan Wright (right ankle). The Heat never trailed after James drove for a short floater 3 minutes into the game to make it 6-4. Wade had 19 points and six assists while Chris Bosh had 17 points. Rookie Jae Crowder had 15 points to lead six Dallas players in double figures. Dahntay Jones and Bernard James had 12 points each.
TRAIL BLAZERS 101, NUGGETS 93: At Portland, J.J. Hickson had 18 points and 18 rebounds for his sixth straight double-double, and the Trail Blazers beat the Nuggets.
Nicolas Batum had 22 points to give the Blazers their first four-game winning streak of the season despite missing forward LaMarcus Aldridge because of a sprained left ankle.
The Nuggets were 0 for 22 from 3-point range, breaking the NBA record of 20 misses set by the Trail Blazers in a game against Toronto last week. Denver had 74 points in the paint.
The Blazers led by as many as 18 in the first half and while the Nuggets were able to close the gap, they were never able to pull even.