Around the NBA: Heat holds off Sixers for 20th straight win

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Steven M. Falk | Philadelphia Daily News
The 76ers’ Arnett Moultrie, left, and Thaddeus Young double-team LeBron James of the Heat. James scored 27 points in the Heat’s 98-94 victory.

Heat 98, 76ers 94: LeBron James scored 27 points and Miami became the fourth team to win at least 20 consecutive games in a season, rallying to defeat host Philadelphia last night.

Dwyane Wade added 21 as the Heat needed big baskets over the final 2 minutes to earn the milestone victory.

“Twenty is special,” Wade said. “Win 20 games in a row, it’s awesome. You can’t get around it.”& amp; amp; lt; /p>

Only three other teams have won at least 20 consecutive games in the same season: the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers (33), the 2007-08 Houston Rockets (22) and the 1970-71 Milwaukee Bucks (20). The Washington Capitols also won 20 straight, spanning the end of the 1947-48 season and the start of the 1948-49 season.

Thaddeus Young had 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Sixers.

LAST NIGHT’S HIGHLIGHTS

Celtics 112, Raptors 88: Kevin Garnett scored 12 points, passing Jerry West for 15th on the NBA’s career scoring list, and Paul Pierce joined him among the top 20 scorers in league history with 15 points as host Boston defeated Toronto.

Garnett needed four points to pass West (25,192 points) and Pierce entered the game nine points short of tying Charles Barkley (23,757) for 20th.

Hawks 96, Lakers 92: Devin Harris scored 17 points, Ivan Johnson hit a key basket and host Atlanta shook off a 20-point third quarter by Kobe Bryant, ending a three-game losing streak with a victory over Los Angeles.

Bryant finished with 31 points, but made just 11 of 33 shots. He drove the baseline with a chance to force overtime but watched his jumper slide off the rim with 3 seconds remaining. Making matters worse, he landed on the right foot of the Hawks’ Dahntay Jones and suffered a severely sprained left ankle. The Lakers said Bryant is out indefinitely.

Bryant hobbled off and Kyle Korver made two free throws to clinch it.

Pacers 107, Timberwolves 91: Roy Hibbert had a season-high 27 points and 12 rebounds to lead host Indiana.

Paul George had 17 points and George Hill added 16 points with six assists to help the Pacers get their second victory in three games.

Thunder 110, Jazz 87: Kevin Durant scored 23 points and Russell Westbrook 19 to lead host Oklahoma City.

Kevin Martin had 15 points for Oklahoma City, which is 25-8 at home.

Love two to three weeks from return

Minnesota Timberwolves forward Kevin Love met with a specialist to examine his surgically repaired right hand, and it doesn’t appear the former All-Star will be ready to hit the court anytime soon.

The team released a statement saying that Love’s hand is “healing properly.” But Love has not been cleared for contact or full practice yet and his next evaluation by doctors won’t come for another two to three weeks.

The Timberwolves had expected him to return by the middle of March.

Raptors’ Bargnani done for the season

Toronto Raptors forward Andrea Bargnani is expected to miss the rest of the season because of a sprained right elbow.

Bargnani was injured in the first quarter of Toronto’s 118-116 loss to the Lakers last Friday.

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