Late rally helps Miami secure fifth consecutive win.
With 11 games on a packed NBA schedule ahead of the Christmas Eve break, the Miami Heat starred with a late rally against the Atlanta Hawks.
Down by seven with 90 seconds remaining in regulation, the hosts fought back to take the game into overtime before overcoming a late three-point deficit to finally secure the win.
LeBron James scored 38 points and revealed that the experience of going through the NBA Finals last year and their fightback against the San Antonio Spurs helped through on Monday night.
“Obviously, after going through what we experienced last year in The Finals, it’s never over,” James said, according to ESPN.
“So we just keep fighting until the end, and we were able to force overtime.”
Jeff Teague led the Hawks with 26 points, but coach Mike Budenholzer, an assistant with the Spurs last year, couldn’t prevent another memorable late comeback.
Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers secured a comprehensive win over the Brooklyn Nets as coach Jason Kidd admitted that his team are almost “comfortable with losing” and was highly critical of their performance.
Lance Stephenson had a career-best 26 points as he continues his impressive season, while Paul George added another 26 in the 103-86 win.
The Nets have now slipped to 9-18 for the season, and with Brook Lopez ruled out for the rest of the season it remains to be seen what they can salvage.
Meanwhile, city rivals the New York Knicks secured a much-needed win over the Orlando Magic, although the victory was somewhat tempered by Carmelo Anthony who suffered a sprained ankle.
Raymond Felton also left the court with a groin injury which will possibly give coach Mike Woodson further selection headaches, as neither played returned and look doubtful for the Christmas Day meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki made history as he moved up to 13th on the NBA all-time scoring list, and elsewhere in the Western Conference the San Antonio Spurs sealed a 112-99 win over the Toronto Raptors.
The visitors arrived off the back of inflicting a first home loss of the season on the Thunder, but there were no repeats on Monday as the Spurs looked set throughout with Tony Parker (26 points) and Manu Ginobili (18 points) doing the majority of the damage.
Milwaukee Bucks 110-111 Charlotte Bobcats
Detroit Pistons 115-92 Cleveland Cavaliers
New York Knicks 103-98 Orlando Magic
Indiana Pacers 103-86 Brooklyn Nets
Atlanta Hawks 119-121 Miami Heat
Dallas Mavericks 111-104 Houston Rockets
Utah Jazz 94-104 Memphis Grizzlies
Toronto Raptors 99-112 San Antonio Spurs
Golden State Warriors 89-81 Denver Nuggets
Los Angeles Lakers 90-117 Phoenix Suns
New Orleans Pelicans 113-100 Sacramento Kings