Brook Lopez scored 20 points, Deron Williams added 16 and made the clinching 3-pointer, and the Nets extended their longest winning streak in three years to five games with an 88-79 victory over the visiting Boston Celtics on Monday night.
Kris Humphries had 16 points and 15 rebounds to help the Nets end a nine-game home losing streak against the Celtics.
The Nets have won five in a row over all for the first time since the 2007-8 season. Although a long shot with a five-and-a-half-game deficit to overcome in the last month, the Nets are not out of the postseason race yet.
”I think we are playing good right now, we are jelling pretty well, having such a short time together,” Williams said. ”We’re having fun. These games are important right now, not only because we have a chance to make the playoffs, but for the future and going forward next year.”
Ray Allen scored 19 points and Kevin Garnett had 18 for the Celtics, who could not overcome horrible shooting nights from the All-Stars Paul Pierce (7 points) and Rajon Rondo (2 points) and fell back into a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
HEAT 110, SPURS 80 Chris Bosh had 30 points and 12 rebounds, Dwyane Wade scored 29 and host Miami avenged its worst loss of the season by rolling past league-leading San Antonio.
LeBron James finished with 21 points, 8 assists and 6 rebounds for the Heat, who have won three straight. Miami lost, 125-95, in San Antonio on March 4, the midpoint of a five-game slide that now seems all but forgotten after wins over the Lakers, the Grizzlies and now the Spurs.
Monday’s loss was the Spurs’ biggest regular-season loss since April 7, 2005, a 104-68 defeat in Dallas.
GRIZZLIES 105, CLIPPERS 82 Zach Randolph had 30 points and 12 rebounds to help Memphis top visiting Los Angeles and secure its hold on the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Clippers rookie Blake Griffin was limited to 8 points and 9 rebounds, his fourth straight game without reaching a double-double — his longest such drought.
ROCKETS 95, SUNS 93 Kevin Martin scored 23 points, Chuck Hayes had a career-high 21 points and 9 rebounds and Houston ended a seven-game losing streak against visiting Phoenix.
Vince Carter scored 21 to lead the Suns, who played without point guard Steve Nash for the second straight game.
NUGGETS 114, HORNETS 103 Ty Lawson scored 23 points and Denver combined for 17 3-pointers in a victory at New Orleans.
Raymond Felton added 22 points, including six 3-pointers, for Denver, while J. R. Smith hit five 3s and finished with 18 points. Denver made 17 of 29 3-pointers to build a 23-point lead in the third quarter.
THUNDER 116, WIZARDS 89 Kevin Durant scored 32 points and Russell Westbrook had 18 points and 12 assists to help Oklahoma City to an easy win at Washington.
It was the 25th time this season that Durant, the N.B.A. scoring leader, scored at least 30 points.
JAZZ 112, SIXERS 107 Andrei Kirilenko scored 7 of his 16 points in overtime to lead short-handed Utah past visiting Philadelphia.
The Jazz led by as many as 21 points in the second quarter, 18 in the third and 15 in the fourth before Philadelphia rallied.
PHOTO: The Celtics’ Paul Pierce, fighting Brook Lopez for a rebound, was held to 7 points. (PHOTOGRAPH BY JULIO CORTEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS)