MIAMI (AP) LeBron James’ switch to a clear mask didn’t hinder his shooting eye, and he had 20 points Saturday to help the Miami Heat earn their seventh consecutive victory by beating the Orlando Magic 112-98.
At the NBA’s request, James dispensed with the black mask he wore Thursday when playing for the first time since he broke his nose. He missed only four shots, grabbed nine rebounds and had seven assists.
Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and Chris Bosh 20 for the Heat, who shot 58 percent. Eleven players scored for the Heat, and their bench totaled 39 points.
The newer mask seemed to bother James more than the black one did, and he frequently took it off when the clock was stopped. But while it was a nuisance, it didn’t hinder his performance.
Tobias Harris led Orlando with 20 points and Nikola Vucevic added 18.
CLIPPERS 108, PELICANS 76
LOS ANGELES (AP) – Chris Paul had 21 points and eight assists, Blake Griffin added 20 points before both All-Stars sat out the fourth quarter of Los Angeles’ rout of New Orleans.
Nine-year veteran Danny Granger did not make his debut with the Clippers because of a technicality on the team’s active list.
Tyreke Evans had 22 points and nine rebounds for New Orleans. But Anthony Davis picked up three fouls in his first 7 minutes on the court and finished with eight points three nights after spraining his left shoulder in a loss against Dallas.
ROCKETS 118, PISTONS 110
HOUSTON (AP) – Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Houston opened a big early lead and beat Detroit for its third win in four games.
Jones finished 10 of 15 from the floor as Houston shot 50 percent for the game, including 61 percent in the first half. Houston scored 41 points in the first quarter and finished 11 of 33 from behind the arc.
James Harden added 20 points and 12 assists, Patrick Beverley had 19 points and Dwight Howard chipped in 17 points and eight rebounds.
Rodney Stuckey had 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting off the bench, and Josh Smith added 21 points for the Pistons, who dropped their fourth straight and seventh in eight games.
PACERS 102, CELTICS 97
BOSTON (AP) – Paul George scored 10 of Indiana’s last 12 points and the Pacers beat Boston two days after beating another of the NBA’s worst teams.
The team with the best record in the NBA had trouble with the Celtics, who have the fourth-worst record in the East. On Thursday night, the Pacers won 101-96 over the Milwaukee Bucks, who have the league’s worst record.
George led the Pacers with 25 points, Evan Turner added 17 and Lance Stephenson scored 15. Indiana won its fourth straight game and eighth in its last 11.
Jeff Green had 27 points and Kris Humphries scored 18 as the Celtics lost for the sixth time in seven games.
NETS 107, BUCKS 98
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Brooklyn over Milwaukee and within a game of .500.
Brooklyn’s Kevin Garnett missed the game with back spasms but wasn’t needed as the Nets never trailed in the second half against the NBA’s worst team.
Thornton, playing in his third game for Brooklyn since being obtained in a Feb. 19 trade with Sacramento, came off the bench to make 8 of 13 from the field to help the Nets finish their seven-game road trip 4-3. A win over Chicago at home on Monday and the Nets (28-29) will get back to .500 for the first time since they were 2-2 on Nov. 5.
Andray Blatche had 19 points and 13 rebounds for Brooklyn, including eight points and 10 rebounds in the fourth quarter.
Khris Middleton and Ramon Sessions scored 16 points apiece for Milwaukee.
GRIZZLIES 110, CAVALIERS 96
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Zach Randolph had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and Memphis used a big second half to defeat Cleveland.
Randolph had 17 points in the second half to help Memphis outscore Cleveland 56-31 and rally from an early 15-point deficit to win its fifth straight at home. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol scored 22 each for the Grizzlies. Conley added seven assists and Gasol had six.
Courtney Lee finished with 19 points and Tony Allen had 16 on 7-of-10 shooting.
Kyrie Irving led the Cavaliers with 28 points on 11-of-19 shooting, while Tristan Thompson was 8 of 10 for 18 points. Spencer Hawes had 13 points and Luol Deng 11.
TRAIL BLAZERS 102, NUGGETS 96
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Robin Lopez scored 18 points, LaMarcus Aldridge returned from an injury to add 16, and Portland beat Denver to sweep the series for the first time in 15 years.
Nicolas Batum had a career-high 16 rebounds for Portland, which has won its last five games.
Kenneth Faried, Randy Foye and Evan Fournier scored 16 points apiece, but Denver lost its fifth straight. Faried took a hard fall with less than two minutes left and appeared to injure his right knee, but finished out the game.
Portland won all four meetings, its first sweep of the series since the 1999 season, when the Blazers won all three games against the Nuggets.
TIMBERWOLVES 108, KINGS 97
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Kevin Martin scored 26 points, Kevin Love had 22 and Minnesota reached .500 with its win over Sacramento.
It was the second straight win and fifth in six games for the Timberwolves (29-29).
Minnesota never trailed after opening the third quarter with nine straight points.
Love added 10 rebounds and seven assists, and Nikola Pekovic had 20 points and nine rebounds for the Timberwolves.
DeMarcus Cousins had 21 points and 17 rebounds for the Kings in his return from a one-game suspension. Rudy Gay had 22 of his 24 points in the opening half and Isaiah Thomas had 22 points and eight assists in Sacramento’s third straight loss.
WIZARDS 122, 76ERS 103
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Trevor Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help Washington win its sixth straight game.
Ariza made all six 3-point attempts in the first quarter for 24 points and finished 14 of 23 from the floor overall.
The 76ers lost their 13th straight game on the night they retired Allen Iverson’s No. 3. Iverson had his number sent to the rafters, fit between Maurice Cheeks’ No. 10 and Charles Barkley’s No. 34.
The Sixers had a rare sellout of 20,856 for Iverson’s triumphant homecoming. The fans, though, saw the same old sorry Sixers.
Ariza had plenty of help for a Wizards team making a run in the Eastern Conference. John Wall had 17 points and 16 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 13 points and 14 rebounds.