It's becoming almost commonplace now, this trend of the Miami Heat getting off to slow starts and having to dig its way back from double-digit...
MIAMI — It’s becoming almost commonplace now, this trend of the Miami Heat getting off to slow starts and having to dig its way back from double-digit deficits.
Apparently, the Heat does not mind.
LeBron James scored 29 points, Dwyane Wade added 19 and the Heat extended its winning streak to 25 games by pulling away in the second half and beating the Detroit Pistons 103-89 on Friday night.
Miami trailed by 11 in the first half before moving within eight of tying the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the longest winning streak in NBA history. The Heat also won at home for the 16th straight time.
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“We don’t get caught up in things like that, saying that we’re untouchable,” said James, who also finished with eight assists and eight rebounds. “We know we can be beat by anybody, any night, if we don’t come in with the mindset to play our game.”
Maybe they don’t always come in with that mindset in perfect order, but the Heat clearly find a way to get to that place. Just this week alone, the Heat rallied from 17 points down to win at Boston, then pulled off the wild 27-point, second-half comeback to prevail at Cleveland.
No real dramatics were needed Friday, especially after Miami allowed only 35 points after halftime.
“We were a little flat in the first half,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “But in the second half, the urgency was much better, created a lot more opportunities off of our defense. I liked the way we finished the game.”
Miami’s magic number for clinching the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference is now three. The Heat also remained 1 ½ games up on San Antonio for the league’s best record.
Greg Monroe finished with 23 points and 15 rebounds for Detroit, which dropped its 10th straight game. Jose Calderon had 18 points and seven assists, most of that coming in the first half for the Pistons, who also got 18 points and eight rebounds from Kyle Singler.
“It doesn’t matter who we’re playing. This time of year, it’s going to be a dangerous team,” Spoelstra said. “It’s going to be a team absolutely urgent, desperate for a playoff position or a team with nothing to lose, no pressure. Either way, you have to impose your will.”
Terry back in Dallas
DALLAS — Jason Terry smiled for the cameras, was branded “Mavericks royalty” by his old coach before enjoying a reunion with the franchise he helped win its first NBA title.
Terry was in town with his new team, the Boston Celtics, and the first order of business was wiping out a bad night in New Orleans and ending a two-game skid. That didn’t happen, with the slide reaching three games in a 104-94 loss in which the Franklin High School product was held to eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.
The significance of the moment wasn’t lost on him, but the loss took away some enjoyment.
“It was nothing out of the ordinary. It was a good feeling,” Terry said. “But again, I was solely locked in on the game. It was good to see everyone. But I’m a Celtic now.”
The veteran shooting guard spent eight seasons with the Mavericks, endearing himself to the home crowd through civic involvement and the “Jet” nickname he fostered through his signature celebration of big three-pointers — running down the court with his arms spread like wings.
Terry showed up wearing his championship ring a couple of hours before the game and said, “I’m just excited.” Terry got a loud standing ovation when he was introduced.
• Ray Williams, the former New York Knicks guard who averaged 15.5 points and 5.8 assists in 10 seasons in the NBA, died Friday. He was 58. The Knicks confirmed the death but didn’t give a cause. Williams was the brother of former Sonics great Gus Williams.
• Trevor Ariza hit a career-high seven three-pointers on his way to 25 points, John Wall added 24 points and the Washington Wizards rallied from an 18-point, second-half deficit to beat the host Los Angeles Lakers 103-100. Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol both returned to action for L.A.
• Kevin Durant scored 11 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, Russell Westbrook had 19 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder snapped a two-game skid by beating the host Orlando Magic 97-89.
• Carmelo Anthony scored 37 points, Kenyon Martin added 19 points and 11 rebounds, and the New York Knicks clinched a playoff berth by sending the host Toronto Raptors to their third straight loss, 99-94.
• Tony Parker had 22 points in his return from an eight-game absence, Tim Duncan added 19 points and 16 rebounds and the host San Antonio Spurs sent the Utah Jazz to its third straight loss, 104-97 in overtime.
• Wesley Matthews scored 28 points to lead three teammates with at least 20 points and Portland beat the host Atlanta Hawks 104-93 for the Trail Blazers’ second road win in as many nights. Damian Lillard scored 22 points and LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 13 rebounds, giving him at least 20 points in seven straight games.