The San Antonio Spurs are riding high on their gruelling "Rodeo Road Trip" as a 100-89 triumph over the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday gave the NBA's top team their third straight win.
The Spurs, playing the fourth contest of a gruelling nine-game road trip while a rodeo occupies their home arena, got 19 points from Tony Parker while DeJuan Blair added 18 points and 12 rebounds.
With the win, the Spurs improved their NBA-best record and became the first team to begin a season 43-8 or better since the 1996-97 NBA champion Chicago Bulls, who stormed out of the gate with a 45-6 record.
San Antonio led 80-78 midway through the fourth quarter before using a 9-2 run to pull away down the stretch.
Detroit (19-33) reserve Will Bynum led the home team with 21 points but the Pistons' loss snapped a string of successive victories.
Heat 117, Pacers 112
LeBron James had 41 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists,and Chris Bosh added 19 points as the Miami Heat rallied from 14 points down to beat the Indiana Pacers 117-112 on Tuesday for their seventh straight victory.
Dwyane Wade scored 17 and Mario Chalmers added 16 for Miami, which moved five games ahead of second-place Atlanta in the Southeast Division. The Heat also got within a half-game of idle Boston for the best record in the Eastern Conference.
Roy Hibbert scored 20 points and added 10 rebounds for Indiana, which fell to 4-1 under interim coach Frank Vogel. Danny Granger scored 19 and Tyler Hansbrough added 18 for the Pacers.
Grizzlies 105, Thunder 101, OT
At Oklahoma City, Zach Randolph had 31 points and 14 rebounds, and Tony Allen scored a season-high 27 while harassing NBA scoring leader Kevin Durant as Memphis beat Oklahoma City.
Durant had 31 points and 11 rebounds, but got off just one shot in overtime and also had a key turnover in the final 20 seconds with the Thunder down by three.
Russell Westbrook added 21 points and 11 assists but also tied his season-high with eight turnovers for Oklahoma City, which lost for the first time in six overtime games this season.
Bucks 92, Raptors 74
At Milwaukee, John Salmons returned to the starting lineup for the first time in three weeks and scored 17 points to lead Milwaukee past Toronto.
Corey Maggette added 16 points and nine rebounds for Milwaukee, which snapped its four-game losing streak.
Toronto lost its 10th straight road game. Andrea Bargnani scored 23 points and DeMar DeRozan Finished with 18 points and seven rebounds for the Raptors, who were seeking consecutive victories for the first time since December 3.
Timberwolves 112, Rockets 108
At Houston, Kevin Love set a Minnesota record with his 38th consecutive double-double, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds.
Love passed Kevin Garnett (2006) for the team's double-double record. Love's streak is now the longest since Moses Malone had 44 in a row during the 1982-83 season with Philadelphia. Utah's John Stockton also had a 37-game streak of double-doubles in 1989.
Wayne Ellington added 18 points for the Timberwolves, who snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Rockets dating to January 2007. Minnesota played without starters F Michael Beasley (sprained left ankle) and C Darko Milicic (strained left hip flexor).
Kevin Martin and Courtney Lee scored 23 points apiece for the Rockets, who were outrebounded 51-31.
Magic 101, Clippers 85
At Orlando, Florida, Dwight Howard had 22 points and 20 rebounds, and Jameer Nelson added 17 points, including going 4 for 5 from 3-point range, as Orlando used a second-half surge to get past Los Angeles Clippers.
Howard recorded his fifth 20-20 game this season.
Baron Davis led the Clippers with a season-high 25 points, Ike Diogu added 18 and Blake Griffin had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
76ers 117, Hawks 83
At Atlanta, Elton Brand scored 13 of his 17 points in the first half as Philadelphia jumped out to a 20-point lead in the opening period and cruised to a win over Atlanta.
Louis Williams had 20 points to lead six Philadelphia scorers in double figures. Thaddeus Young and Jodie Meeks each had 16.
Josh Smith, the only Atlanta player to log at least 30 minutes, had 16 points. Damien Wilkins had 12 points and Marvin Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.