NEWARK, N.J. - LeBron James returned to the lineup and scored 22 of his 32 points in the first quarter, and the Miami Heat rolled to a 101-90 victory over the New Jersey Nets on Saturday night despite playing without Dwyane Wade.
Wade missed his third straight game with a bruised left foot, but James had the game under control by the time his All-Star teammate arrived at his seat on the bench.
James made his first seven shots, leaping high for dunks, lobs and blocked shots and showing no effects from the sprained left ankle that forced him to miss a game. The NBA's leading scorer added nine assists and seven rebounds.
Chris Bosh added 16 points after a slow start for the Heat, who won their third straight and ran the NBA's best record to 8-1. They hope to have Wade back when they move to the West for the final three games of a five-game trip.
Kris Humphries tied a career high with 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Nets, who shot just 33.7 per cent in front of a sellout crowd of 18,711. Deron Williams had 10 points and 10 assists but was just 4-of-16 from the field.
76ERS 97, RAPTORS 62
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Andre Iguodala had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Jrue Holiday also scored 14 points to lead Philadelphia over Toronto for its fourth straight win.
Lou Williams scored 13 points, and rookie Nikola Vucevic had nine points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers. A year after starting 3-13, the Sixers are 5-2 and the early leaders in the Atlantic Division. The Sixers blew the game open in the third quarter, using a 30-8 run to build a 25-point lead.
Andre Bargnani had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors.
MAVERICKS 96, HORNETS 81
DALLAS (AP) — Vince Carter and Ian Mahinmi had 13 points each as Dallas handed New Orleans its sixth consecutive loss.
Carter and Mahinmi led a balanced scoring attack for the Mavericks (4-5), who won their fourth straight at home and had six players scoring in double figures.
Al-Farouq Aminu had 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead New Orleans, which was without three players who are in its regular rotation. Hornets post player Jason Smith missed the game to be with his family after the death of his grandmother Friday night. Guard Eric Gordon (bruised right knee) and forward Trevor Ariza (groin strain) were also out.
KNICKS 103, PISTONS 80
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — Amare Stoudemire scored 22 points and Mike Bibby added 16 to lead New York to an easy victory over Detroit.
Carmelo Anthony scored 13 points in three quarters for the Knicks, who led 64-42 at halftime and by 29 after three. Bibby has scored 27 points in his last two games after scoring seven through New York's first six.
Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 19 points.
Detroit guard Rodney Stuckey sat out with a groin injury, and the Pistons were also without forwards Austin Daye and Charlie Villanueva, who had sore ankles.
THUNDER 98, ROCKETS 95
HOUSTON (AP) — Kevin Durant hit a jumper with 22 seconds left and nailed two free throws to give Oklahoma City a win over Houston.
Durant finished with 27 points and six rebounds, Russell Westbrook added 25 points and six assists, and reserve Nazr Mohammed had a season-high 17 points and six rebounds for the Thunder.
Luis Scola had a season-high 28 points and seven rebounds, Goran Dragic had a season-best 20 points and eight assists, and Kevin Martin had 16 points to lead the Rockets (2-6), who have lost four straight games. Houston had a chance at the end but Dragic threw the ball out of bounds with less than a second remaining to seal it.
HAWKS 109, BULLS 94
ATLANTA (AP) — Josh Smith scored 25 points, Joe Johnson and Vladimir Radmanovic each added 17 and Atlanta beat Chicago to snap the Bulls' six-game winning streak.
John Lucas III had 14 of his team-high 16 points in the fourth quarter for Chicago, which never led. The Bulls, who dropped to 7-2, had been off to their best start since going 12-0 in 1996-97.
Derrick Rose, last season's league MVP, scored eight points for Chicago — his lowest total since the Bulls took a 17-point victory at Toronto on Dec. 15, 2010. He did not return to the game after leaving with 2:29 left in the third quarter.
SPURS 121, NUGGETS 117
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Danny Green scored a season-high 24 points as San Antonio beat Denver for its sixth straight home win and third in a row overall.
Green hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to ice it for the Spurs (6-2) after Danilo Gallinari hit a 3-pointer with 7.6 seconds left to pull Denver to 119-116.
Gallinari tied his career high with 31 points as the Nuggets (6-3) snapped a four-game winning streak.
Richard Jefferson, who was 5-of-8 from long range, and Tony Parker both added 19 points for the Spurs. Tim Duncan, DeJuan Blair and Gary Neal had 10 apiece.
CLIPPERS 92, BUCKS 86
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin had 22 points and 14 rebounds, and Caron Butler scored 20 points to lead Los Angeles Clippers past undermanned Milwaukee.
Chauncey Billups added 19 points for the Clippers in a chippy game that resulted in a combined 54 fouls. Chris Paul had nine points and seven assists.
Brandon Jennings scored 21 points and had seven assists for the Bucks, who have lost four straight. They played their third in a row without centre Andrew Bogut, who is in Australia attending to personal matters with his family. Teammates Luc Mbah a Moute and Mike Dunleavy Jr. were also sidelined.
JAZZ 88, WARRIORS 87
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Gordon Hayward made a go-ahead free throw with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Utah past Golden State for its fourth straight victory.
Hayward finished with 18 points, six rebounds and four assists, and Al Jefferson added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz, who shot just 39.5 per cent.
Monta Ellis had 32 points and six assists but had a costly turnover that led to Hayward's free throw and missed a running bank shot at the buzzer to send Golden State to its fifth straight loss. Stephen Curry and starting centre Andris Biedrins sat out for the second straight game with sprained right ankles for Golden State.
PACERS 99, BOBCATS 77
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Roy Hibbert had 20 points, eight rebounds and three blocks despite briefly leaving the game with a sprained right ankle to lead Indiana over Charlotte.
Tyler Hansbrough scored 15 points, Darren Collison had 14, and Danny Granger and George Hill each added 13 for the Pacers (6-2), who improved to 3-0 at home.
D.J. Augustin scored 20 points, Gerald Henderson had 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Byron Mullens added 10 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats (2-6).
Indiana shot 51 per cent and held the Bobcats to 33-per cent shooting — the fifth time the Pacers have held an opponent under 40 per cent.