WASHINGTON – The Washington Wizards can’t beat many teams, but they beat the best: LeBron James and the Miami Heat.
Perhaps inspired by the courtside presence of Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III, the Wizards doubled their victory total this season with a 105-101 win over the Heat on Tuesday night, despite James’ triple-double of 26 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Jordan Crawford led Washington with 22 points, including three free throws in the final 11 seconds, while James missed a potentially tying 3-pointer with 3.9 to go.
While the reigning NBA champion Heat’s six-game winning streak ended, and they fell to 12-4, the Wizards improved to 2-13. They started the season 0-12, but have won 2 of 3.
The Wizards have won three consecutive regular-season games against the Heat, including two last season in April.
THUNDER 117, NETS 111: Kevin Durant scored 32 points, Russell Westbrook had 25 points and nine assists, and visiting Oklahoma City held off Brooklyn for its sixth straight victory.
Serge Ibaka added 18 points and Thabo Sefolosha 14 for the Thunder, who revved up the NBA’s No. 1 offense to surpass 100 points in a 10th straight game for the first time in 15 years. They beat the Nets for the seventh consecutive time.
ROCKETS 107, LAKERS 105: Toney Douglas had a season-high 22 points and Greg Smith added a career-best 21 to help Houston beat visiting Los Angeles.
The Lakers had a 13-point lead with less than 10 minutes to go. But Houston used two big runs, including a 9-2 spurt capped by a 3-pointer from Douglas to take its first lead of the game — 100-99 — with about 21/2 minutes left.
Dwight Howard made three free throws after that, but a bucket by Smith and four free throws by Houston put the Rockets back on top 106-102. Kobe Bryant hit a 3-pointer with 13.3 seconds left to cut the lead to one.
Bryant fouled Douglas and he made 1 of 2 free throws with 8.8 seconds left. The Lakers had a last chance, but Bryant missed a 3-point attempt before Metta World Peace missed a layup to give Houston the win.
TIMBERWOLVES 105, 76ERS 88: Josh Howard had 16 points and 10 rebounds to lead Minnesota to a win at Philadelphia.
PACERS 80, BULLS 76: Paul George scored 34 points to lead Indiana at Chicago.
George got off to a quick start with 10 points in the first quarter and shot 14 for 25 in the game. He pulled down nine rebounds for the Pacers, who closed a 3-1 road swing.
GRIZZLIES 108, SUNS 98: Zach Randolph had 38 points and 22 rebounds, setting season highs in both categories, to carry host Memphis to an OT win.