NBA Wrap: Pacers top Heat, extend lead in East

NBA Wrap: Pacers top Heat, extend lead in East
December 10, 2013, 11:00 pm
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LeBron James (right) had 17 points and 14 rebounds, but his Miami Heat fell just short of the Indiana Pacers Tuesday night. (USA Today Images)

INDIANAPOLIS -- Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and Paul George had 15 of his 17 points during a second-half rally to lead the Pacers past Miami 90-84 Tuesday 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 now lost three of 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 (see full recap).


Nets beat Boston in Pierce, Garnett return
NEW YORK -- Deron Williams scored a season-high 25 points in his return to the lineup, Brook Lopez added 24, and the Brooklyn Nets beat the Boston Celtics 104-96 Tuesday night in the first matchup for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett against their former team.

Garnett had 11 points, just his third time in double figures this season, and grabbed nine rebounds. Pierce finished with four points and seven rebounds in his first appearance off the bench in six years after making a quick recovery from a broken right hand.

Avery Bradley scored 22 points and Jeff Green had 19 for the Celtics, who have been competitive after trading away two of their most important players from their 2008 NBA championship team. Boston had a three-game winning streak snapped and its Atlantic Division-leading record fell to 10-13 record (see full recap).


Irving, Cavs hand Knicks another loss
CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving had 37 points and 11 assists and Jarrett Jack added 17 points, leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 109-94 victory over the sinking New York Knicks on Tuesday night.

Irving, an All-Star point guard, had 12 points in the third quarter, when the Cavs outscored the defenseless Knicks 33-20 and pulled away. Tristan Thompson added 12 points and nine rebounds as Cleveland won its fourth straight at home.

New York, coming off an embarrassing 41-point loss at home to Boston, dropped to 5-15 and made coach Mike Woodson's future even more uncertain.

Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points and Amare Stoudemire had 15 for the Knicks, who erased an early 18-point deficit, gave it all back, fell behind by 19 and lost for the 11th time in 13 games (see full recap).