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Struggling Heat humbled after White House high Bulls pip Magic

WASHINGTON, Jan 16, (Agencies): LeBron James and Dwyane Wade struggled for answers Wednesday after the reigning NBA champion Miami Heat suffered a humbling 114-97 loss at Washington, their third loss in a row. A day after celebrating in the White House with US President Barack Obama and hours after learning of the shock trade of teammate Joel Anthony over lunch, the Heat surrendered 20 points in a row in the first quarter, fell behind by 34 in the second quarter and were routed by a team that was 1-14 against teams with winning records. “That just can’t happen,” James said. “It’s not physical. It’s more mental than anything. It’s mental fatigue. Not lack of confidence but lack of focus. “We love adversity. We love a challenge. It’s a good test for us. Teams want to see where they are when they play us. We’re not accepting the challenge right now.”


Bulls 128, Magic 125, 3 OTS
In Orlando, Fla, Joakim Noah had a season-high 26 points, Carlos Boozer scored 23, and Chicago extended Orlando’s season-high losing streak to nine games with a triple-overtime victory. The Magic had a chance to win the game with less than 10 seconds to play, but Glen Davis’ jumper was partially blocked and rebounded by the Bulls with just 1.5 seconds remaining. The Bulls have now won the last seven matchups with the Magic played in Orlando and improved to 4-1 since trading Luol Deng. Victor Oladipo had a career-high 35 points and Jameer Nelson added 31 points and 10 assists for Orlando. Tobias Harris added 22 points and 16 rebounds.


Clippers 129, Mavericks 127
In Los Angeles, J.J. Redick scored a career-high 33 points and Los Angeles rallied from 17 points down with 4 ž minutes left to beat Dallas. Matt Barnes added 25 points, Blake Griffin had 23 and Jamal Crawford scored 16, including a pair of free throws that gave the Clippers the lead with 11 seconds to go. They improved to 18-3 at home with their fourth straight win. Dirk Nowitzki scored 27 points and Samuel Dalembert added a season-high 20 for the Mavs, whose three-game winning streak ended when they couldn’t hold a 123-106 lead. Jose Calderon hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points.


Nuggets 123, Warriors 116

In Oakland, Calif, Nate Robinson scored 14 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter, J.J. Hickson grabbed a season-high 24 rebounds and streaky Denver outlasted Golden State.
Wilson Chandler added 22 points and six rebounds, and Ty Lawson finished with 22 points and 11 assists to give Oakland native and first-year Nuggets coach Brian Shaw a victory in his hometown.
Denver outshot Golden State 54 to 43 percent.
David Lee had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Stephen Curry scored 24 points for the well-rested Warriors, who took the lead with 1:13 remaining before the Nuggets pulled away again. Golden State, which had won 11 of its past 12 games, hadn’t played since beating Boston on Friday night.


Trail Blazers 108, Cavaliers 96
In Portland, Ore, LaMarcus Aldridge had 32 points and 18 rebounds, scoring nine straight points that pulled Portland in front in the final four minutes, and the Trail Blazers beat Cleveland. Damian Lillard added 28 points for the Blazers, who won their third straight. Luol Deng had 25 points for the Cavaliers, who were playing the second of a back-to-back after a victory over the Lakers on Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving added 21 points.


Rockets 103, Pelicans 100
In New Orleans, James Harden capped a 26-point performance with a tiebreaking jumper with 28 seconds left, and Houston beat reeling New Orleans for its third straight victory. Eric Gordon scored a season-high 35 points, but the Pelicans lost their seventh straight. Terrence Jones scored 25 and Dwight Howard added 12 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks for the Rockets, who trailed by as many as 17 in the second quarter and by eight with about four minutes to go. Harden had a hand in 12 of Houston’s final 17 points, scoring 10 and assisting on Howard’s alley-oop dunk. Anthony Davis added 24 points for New Orleans, his sixth straight game with 20 or more, but Darius Miller missed a potential tying 3 in the final seconds.


Grizzlies 82, Bucks 77
In Milwaukee, Mike Conley and James Johnson each scored 15 points and Memphis won its season-high fourth straight. Ed Davis added 14 points and nine rebounds for Memphis, which improved to 19-19 and returned to the .500 mark for the first time since Dec. 9 (10-10). The Grizzlies also won for the ninth time in 13 games despite no points in 14 minutes from Marc Gasol. It was the second game in two days for the NBA’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year after he missed 23 contests with a left MCL sprain. He had 12 points in 24 minutes Tuesday against Oklahoma City.


Spurs 109, Jazz 105
In San Antonio, Tony Parker had 25 points and nine assists, and San Antonio escaped a late rally to beat Utah and extend its winning streak to six games. Utah closed the game on a 19-7 run, but was unable to complete the comeback after falling behind by 18 points in the second half. Marco Belinelli, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard scored 15 points apiece, and Manu Ginobili had 13 in his first home start of the season for San Antonio (31-8). Enes Kanter had 25 points off the bench for Utah (13-27). Alec Burks scored 20 points, Derrick Favors had 19 points and 12 rebounds, Trey Burke added 17 points and former Spurs forward Richard Jefferson had 15 points.


Suns 121, Lakers 114
In Phoenix, Gerald Green had a strong second half to finish with a season-high 28 points and lead Phoenix over Los Angeles. Channing Frye had 10 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter and Markieff Morris scored 17 of his 24 in the first half to help the Suns snap a three-game skid. Goran Dragic added 18 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Pau Gasol scored 24 points to lead the Lakers and Wesley Johnson had 22 against his former team. Los Angeles, already short-handed with five players — including star Kobe Bryant — out with injuries, lost leading scorer Nick Young midway through the second quarter when he was ejected for throwing a punch at Dragic.


Kings 111, Timberwolves 108
In Minneapolis, Rudy Gay had 33 points, five rebounds and six assists, and Isaiah Thomas had 26 points and seven assists to lead Sacramento over Minnesota. Gay hit 12 of 19 shots and Derrick Williams had 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting in his first game at Target Center since the Timberwolves traded him to the Kings in November. DeMarcus Cousins had 20 points and 11 boards, and the Kings shot 55 percent to win for the fourth time in five games. Kevin Love had 27 points and 11 rebounds for Minnesota. But Ricky Rubio committed five of Minnesota’s 12 turnovers and the Wolves fell to 0-11 in games decided by four points or less.


Celtics 88, Raptors 83
In Boston, Jared Sullinger scored 25 points and grabbed a career-best 20 rebounds, Avery Bradley had 20 points and Boston held on to snap a nine-game losing streak. Jeff Green scored 13 points and Kris Humphries 12 for the Celtics, who nearly blew an 18-point, second-half lead. Sullinger’s 20-20 was the first by a Celtics player since Kevin Garnett’s first game in Boston in 2007. Garnett was dealt along with Paul Pierce to Brooklyn during the offseason. DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points and Kyle Lowry had 18 points and 12 assists for Toronto, which lost for just the third time in 11 games.


76ers 95, Bobcats 92
In Philadelphia, Thaddeus Young made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 3.2 seconds left to lift Philadelphia over Charlotte. Young hit the final big shot in a fourth quarter loaded with back-and-forth baskets, a contested jumper from the left of the arc off a feed from Michael-Carter Williams. Young scored 11 points and his winner was his only 3-pointer of the game. Charlotte’s last-gasp shot was off the mark. Spencer Hawes had 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists for the Sixers. Evan Turner scored 23 points. Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 26 points and Al Jefferson had 24.

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