ROY HIBBERT scored 24 points and Paul George had 15 of his 17 points during a second-half rally to lead the Indiana Pacers past the Miami Heat, 90-84, last night in a matchup of the Eastern Conference's top two teams.
Indiana improved its league-best record to 19-3 and extended its lead to three full games by beating Miami at home for the fourth straight time.
LeBron James led the Heat with 17 points, 14 rebounds and six assists but had only three baskets and nine points over the final 36 minutes. Dwyane Wade also scored 17 for Miami, which has lost three of its last five.
The Heat led by 13 in the first half and didn't trail until Hibbert completed a three-point play with 6:12 left in the third quarter to put the Pacers ahead, 58-57. But with George heating up, Hibbert dominating the middle and Indiana's bench playing solid, Miami couldn't tie it or take the lead again.
In other games
* At Brooklyn, Deron Williams scored a season-high 25 points in his return to the lineup, Brook Lopez added 24, and the Nets beat the Boston Celtics, 104-96, in the first matchup for Brooklyn's Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett against their former team.
Garnett had 11 points and nine rebounds. Pierce finished with four points and seven rebounds in his first appearance off the bench in 6 years after making a quick recovery from a broken right hand.
But the key was Williams, who had missed nine straight games and 11 overall with a sprained left ankle.
* At Cleveland, Kyrie Irving had 37 points and 11 assists and Jarrett Jack added 17 points, leading the Cavaliers to a 109-94 victory over the New York Knicks.
Fresh off a 41-point loss at home to Boston on Sunday, New York dropped to 5-15 and made coach Mike Woodson's future even more uncertain. The Knicks have lost 11 of 13.
"I don't have the answer to what we have to do," Carmelo Anthony said. "You can't coach or you can't teach energy."
* At Atlanta, Kevin Durant scored 30 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder won for the 11th time in 12 games, holding off the Hawks, 101-92.
* At Auburn Hills, Mich., Kevin Love had 26 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves to a 121-94 rout of the Detroit Pistons.
* At Toronto, Manu Ginobili scored 16 points, Tony Parker had 15 and the San Antonio Spurs overcame a 14-point first-quarter deficit to beat the Raptors, 116-103.
* At Chicago, John Henson had 25 points, 14 rebounds and six blocked shots, and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Bulls, 78-74.