Indianapolis: The Indiana Pacers stretched their home-court winning streak to 13 games and closed in on the NBA Central Division lead by beating the Miami Heat 102-89 on Friday.
Indiana moved within half a game of Central-leading Chicago after the Bulls lost 93-89 at the Brooklyn Nets.
Brooklyn's city rival New York stayed 2-1/2 games clear in the Atlantic Division by beating Milwaukee. In other key games, Toronto cruised past an undermanned Los Angeles Clippers team, Utah continued its strong home form by beating Portland and Denver won its sixth straight by downing New Orleans.
Indiana's David West scored 30 points and Paul George added 15 as the Pacers beat the Heat for the second time this season.
Miami was led by LeBron James with 28 points but this time the Heat were beaten at their own game, with Indiana shooting a season-high 55.7 percent from the field.
The Pacers took control with a 13-0 first-half run that turned a 23-20 deficit into a 33-23 lead and they never trailed again.
The Brooklyn Nets turned to their bench to eke out a 93-89 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Brook Lopez scored 20 points through three quarters, then the bench took over, with Andray Blatch scoring all his 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Luol Deng scored 18 points for the Bulls, who played without starters Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich.
The New York Knicks won their third straight, steadying after a wonky run, by downing the Milwaukee Bucks 96-86.
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points while Amare Stoudemire had 17 points and seven rebounds off the bench for the Knicks, who trailed until a storming run in the third quarter.
Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 19 points and seven rebounds.
The Toronto Raptors were 98-73 winners over the L.A. Clippers, with Rudy Gay scoring 20 points in his Toronto debut, having just moved from Memphis.
Amir Johnson had 19 points and matched his career high with 16 rebounds for the Raptors, who have beaten the Clippers four straight times north of the border.
The Utah Jazz made it eight wins from nine home games by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 86-77.
Al Jefferson had 21 points, including two one-handed shots in the lane to clinch the victory, while Paul Millsap had 15 points for the Jazz.
LaMarcus Aldridge, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds, led the Blazers.
The Denver Nuggets, who won 12 of 15 games in January, started February in similar fashion with a 113-98 win over the New Orleans Hornets.
Ty Lawson had 21 points and 13 assists while Andre Iguodala scored 24 for the Nuggets.
Ryan Anderson had 21 points for the Hornets, who have dropped five of six.
The Memphis Grizzlies were 85-76 winners over the Washington Wizards, with Mike Conley scoring 18 points and Tayshaun Prince adding 14 in his Memphis debut, including a pair of key fourth-quarter baskets.
The Los Angeles Lakers got strong performances from two of their stars as they won 111-100 at the Minnesota Timberwolves. Pau Gasol had 22 points and 12 rebounds in his return to the starting lineup and Kobe Bryant nearly had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists.
The Boston Celtics responded to yet another long-term injury blow by downing the Orlando Magic 97-84. Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett each had a double-double for the Celtics, a day after learning promising rookie Jared Sullinger will join Rajon Rondo on the season-long injury list.
Philadelphia's Thaddeus Young had 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday scored 21 to lead the 76ers past the Sacramento Kings 89-80.
The Dallas Mavericks had six players in double figures — despite the absence of the injured Dirk Nowitzki — in the 109-99 victory over the Phoenix Suns. O.J. Mayo top scored with 20 points.
The Detroit Pistons led throughout in a 117-99 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Story first published on: Saturday, 02 February 2013 17:06 IST