San Antonio: The Miami Heat strengthened its grip on the NBA's best record — and home-court advantage throughout the playoffs — by beating their nearest rivals, the San Antonio Spurs, 88-86 on Sunday thanks to Chris Bosh's 3-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining.
The Heat holds the head-to-head tiebreaker against San Antonio, meaning they effectively have a four-game cushion over the Spurs with nine to play.
In other games, New York closed in on its first Atlantic Division title in 19 years by beating Boston, and Chicago beat Detroit by the narrowest of margins to make it 18 straight wins over the Pistons.
Miami's Bosh scored 23 points, including the winning 3-pointer, as Miami scraped home with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers all sitting out due to injuries.
Bosh finished 3 for 5 on 3s, including the final shot from straightaway in the closing seconds. He let out a loud yell after making the shot and celebrated with teammates when Tony Parker missed his jump shot as the buzzer sounded.
Ray Allen had 14 points for Miami while Tim Duncan had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Spurs, who had won their previous seven home games.
New York's Carmelo Anthony had 24 points and 10 rebounds, and the Knicks extended their winning streak to eight games by beating the Boston Celtics 108-89.
The Knicks beat the Celtics for the second time this week and won the season series for the first time since 2003-04. New York climbed back into a tie with Indiana in the race for the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference, which would currently mean a playoff meeting with the Celtics.
Jeff Green scored 27 points for Boston, which has won the past five Atlantic Division titles since acquiring Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen in the summer of 2007.
Chicago's Luol Deng scored 28 points while Jimmy Butler and Nate Robinson each added 16 as the Bulls edged the Detroit Pistons 95-94.
Rodney Stuckey scored 25 points for the Pistons, who have not beaten the Bulls since Dec. 23, 2008.
Chicago rallied from a 13-point deficit to tie the score 78-78 with 9:27 remaining, and Deng and Robinson each hit 3-pointers to extend the Bulls' lead to 91-84.
Stuckey's layup cut Chicago's lead to one with 1:27 left before Deng had a layup for a 94-91 lead. Charlie Villaneuva missed a 3 with 5.9 seconds left and Daequan Cook made a free throw to make the gap 4 points.
Stuckey made a 3 before the buzzer for the final margin.
Washington's Bradley Beal scored 24 points in his return to the lineup, leading the Wizards past the Toronto Raptors 109-92.
New Orleans' Greivis Vasquez scored 25 points to lead the Hornets to a 112-92 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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Updated Date: Apr 01, 2013 11:11:45 IST