The Los Angeles Lakers won their fourth straight game without Kobe Bryant,beating the defending NBA champion Dallas Mavericks 112-108 in overtime on Sunday.
Andrew Bynum had 23 points and 16 rebounds while Pau Gasol made back-to-back 3-pointers in overtime for the Lakers.
Los Angeles rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit before finishing off a four-game season sweep of the Mavericks,who bounced the Lakers out of last season’s playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki had 24 points on 9-of-28 shooting and 14 rebounds for Dallas but Jason Terry missed a potential tying layup at the rim with 5 seconds left in overtime.
In New York,Miami clinched the Southeast Division title by beating New York Knicks 93-85.
LeBron James had 29 points and 10 rebounds while Dwyane Wade added 28 points and nine boards for the Heat,who pulled away in the fourth quarter of a possible playoff preview. Miami is second in the Eastern Conference and New York came into the game tied for seventh,although they fell back behind Philadelphia after the loss.
Carmelo Anthony scored 42 points but had only two baskets in the fourth quarter for the Knicks,who had won nine straight at home.
Bulls 100,Pistons 94
In Auburn Hills,Michigan,Derrick Rose hit a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation,and Chicago went on to win in overtime,beating Detroit for the 15th straight time.
Rose finished with 24 points while Joakim Noah had 20 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls,who stayed 3-1/2 games ahead of Miami in the race for top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Rodney Stuckey scored 32 points for the Pistons,but he missed two crucial free throws late in the fourth quarter.
Nuggets 101,Rockets 86
In Denver,Arron Afflalo scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half,leading Denver over Houston in the opener of a crucial two games between playoff hopefuls.
With the win,the Nuggets took sole possession of seventh place in the Western Conference,half a game behind Dallas. The teams are clinging to the final two playoff spots in the West,trying to fend off fast-charging Phoenix and Utah.
Ty Lawson also scored 20 points for Denver,which has won five straight at home. Chase Budinger and Luis Scola each scored 19 to lead the Rockets,who had won four straight on the road.
Raptors 102,Hawks 86
In Atlanta,DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points to lift injury-riddled Toronto over Atlanta.
Alan Anderson,one of three Toronto players whose 10-day contract is about to expire,added 16 points for the Raptors.
Josh Smith scored 12 of his 26 points in the first quarter for the Hawks,but they never led and allowed Toronto to shoot 55 percent (41 for 74).
Magic 100,Cavaliers 84
In Cleveland,Orlando clinched a playoff berth with a win over Cleveland. Jameer Nelson scored 21 points for the Magic,who led from the start despite star center Dwight Howard being absent again with a herniated disk in his back.
Howard and forward Hedo Turkoglu (facial fracture) are sidelined indefinitely. Coach Stan Van Gundy said he’s preparing to play the rest of the regular season and the playoffs without the two. Antawn Jamison led the Cavaliers with 21 points.
Hornets 88,Grizzlies 75
In New Orleans,the hosts upset playoff-contending Memphis.
Eric Gordon scored 18 points for the Hornets,who pulled away in the fourth quarter. Carl Landry had 16 points and 11 rebounds. Rudy Gay scored 24 points for the Grizzlies,who had won five of six.
Celtics 94,Bobcats 82
In Charlotte,Boston was able to rest its star players and still comfortably beat Charlotte. Kevin Garnett,Paul Pierce and Ray Allen were given the night off,but the Celtics did not need them. Rajon Rondo had 20 points and 16 assists while Avery Bradley and Brandon Bass each scored 22 points.