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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Heat cut down Nets

Associated Press

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. It's March and the Miami Heat are again getting their act together for the playoffs.

Dwyane Wade had 27 points and 12 assists, and the Heat beat the free-falling New Jersey Nets, 99-89, last night for their eighth win in 11 games this month.

"It's playoff time. It's money time," forward Michael Beasley said after the Heat handed the Nets their eighth straight loss. "We all want to make a push in the playoffs. We've got to play like it."

Jermaine O'Neal added 25 points as the Heat (37-34) climbed to sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Beasley added 16 and Carlos Arroyo 12.

Brook Lopez had 26 points, but the Nets (7-63) are possibly headed toward the worst record in NBA history. New Jersey has to win two of its final 12 to avoid breaking the Philadelphia 76ers' mark for futility (9-73), set in 1972-73.

The Nets played without interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe, whose mother is gravely ill in California. Assistant John Loyer replaced him.

Hornets 115, Mavericks 99: Chris Paul played for the first time in 25 games after a left knee injury and had 11 points in 21 minutes, and Marcus Thornton scored 28 points to help host New Orleans beat Dallas.

Magic 109, 76ers 93: Rashard Lewis scored 24 points, Dwight Howard added 23 points and 15 rebounds, and Orlando notched its third straight 50-win season (50-21) by beating host Philadelphia.

Spurs 99, Thunder 96: George Hill scored a career-high 27 points, and San Antonio overcame Kevin Durant's 45 to beat host Oklahoma City.

Bulls 98, Rockets 88: Derrick Rose had 27 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead host Chicago over Houston.

Bucks 98, Hawks 95: John Salmons scored 32 points, including the tiebreaking free throws with 21.8 seconds remaining, to lead host Milwaukee over Atlanta.

Raptors 106, Timberwolves 100: Chris Bosh had 21 points and 10 rebounds as Toronto handed host Minnesota its 13th straight loss.

Jazz 110, Celtics 97: Mehmet Okur scored all of his 14 points in the second half and pulled down 15 rebounds, Deron Williams added 22 points and 11 assists, and host Utah ended Boston's four-game winning streak.

Grizzlies 102, Kings 85: Zach Randolph had 25 points and 12 rebounds, and O.J. Mayo had 20 points as Memphis beat host Sacramento.

Suns 133, Warriors 131: Amare Stoudemire scored 37 points, Jason Richardson had a season-high 34 and Phoenix held off host Golden State for its fifth straight victory.