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NBA

Pacers start slow, lose 2nd straight

– Al Jefferson had a pretty good inkling it was Charlotte’s night when he banked in a 31-footer from well beyond the top of the key to beat the shot clock midway through the fourth quarter.

“I didn’t call the bank, but I trusted my right hand,” Jefferson said with a laugh.

Jefferson scored 34 points and the Bobcats stunned NBA-leading Indiana 109-87, handing the Pacers just their second two-game skid of the season. Jefferson was 16 of 25 from the field and had eight rebounds for the Bobcats (28-33), who won their fifth straight at home to equal their combined win total from the previous two seasons.

Charlotte jumped out to a 28-8 lead after the first quarter and never trailed.

Evan Turner had 22 points for the Pacers (46-15), who lost back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

ROCKETS 101, MAGIC 89: In Orlando, Fla., James Harden scored 31 points, including 25 in the second half, and Houston dug out of a double-digit, first-half hole.

Orlando played without IU product Victor Oladipo, who was out with soreness in his left ankle.

WIZARDS 104, JAZZ 91: In Washington, Trevor Ariza scored 26 points, Bradley Beal added 22, and Washington took an early lead and never lost it.

Alec Burks scored 19 points, and Trey Burke added 14 to lead the Jazz.

NETS 103, GRIZZLIES 94: In New York, Joe Johnson scored 21 points, Marcus Thornton came off the bench for 20, and Brooklyn powered its way above .500 for the first time this season. Earlier, the signed Jason Collins to a second 10-day contract.

WARRIORS 108, CELTICS 88: In Boston, Klay Thompson and David Lee scored 18 points each and Golden State went a season-high 14 games over .500.

The Warriors scored the first six points, led 12-2 with just over five minutes gone and stayed ahead by at least 20 points throughout the second half.

BULLS 105, PISTONS 94: In Detroit, D.J. Augustin scored 26 points off the bench and Joakim Noah had a triple-double for Chicago in the win.

Greg Monroe led Detroit with 27 points, but the Pistons got only 12 points from their reserves.

NUGGETS 115, MAVERICKS 110: In Denver, Wilson Chandler scored 21 points, Ty Lawson had 20, and Denver snapped a six-game losing streak.

Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points to lead Dallas, which lost its third in a row. It’s their first three-game losing streak of the season. Brandan Wright added 18 points and Vince Carter 17 for Dallas.

KNICKS 118, TIMBERWOLVES 106: In Minneapolis, Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points to help New York snap a seven-game losing streak. Kevin Love had 19 points and eight rebounds for Minnesota, but scored just one point in the second half.

KINGS 116, BUCKS 102: In Milwaukee, Isaiah Thomas scored 25 points and had six assists to lead Sacramento to the win. Brandon Knight finished with 25 points and six assists for Milwaukee.

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