Reserve shooting guard Ray Allen was the key figure in the Miami Heat's come-from-behind victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, scoring 18 points in the 91-86 win.
The two-time defending champions had to rally from an 84-77 deficit with 4:08 remaining to top Memphis Friday night at American Airlines Arena in Miami.
Allen made seven of his 14 field-goal attempts, including two of his five tries from behind the 3-point line. He also tallied four rebounds and four assists in 30 minutes of action.
Superstar forward LeBron James scored 15 points and point guard Mario Chalmers and Dwyane Wade added 14 points each for the Heat, who improved to 47-20.
Power forward Zach Randolph scored 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the Grizzlies, who were without center Marc Gasol for most of the second half after the Spanish big man sprained his ankle.
The Grizzlies fell to 40-28 and are now just a half-game ahead of the Phoenix Suns in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Suns narrowed the gap by battling past the Detroit Pistons 98-92 on Friday night.
Gasol scored 14 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and hauled down six rebounds despite leaving the game midway through the third quarter.
In other NBA action Friday night, the Brooklyn Nets cruised past the Boston Celtics 114-98, the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers topped the Chicago Bulls 91-79, the New York Knicks edged the Philadelphia 76ers 93-92 for their eighth straight win, and the Oklahoma City Thunder edged the Toronto Raptors 119-118 in double overtime.
The New Orleans Pelicans defeated the Atlanta Hawks 111-105, the Dallas Mavericks topped Denver Nuggets 122-106, the San Antonio Spurs routed the Sacramento Kings 99-79, and the Washington Wizards defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-107. EFE