James inspires Heat once more
LeBron James was Miami's top-scorer for the second game in a row as the Heat edged past the Charlotte Bobcats 99-94.
James bagged 30 points against the Toronto Raptors 24 hours ago and went one better on Tuesday night, notching 31 to guide the NBA South-East Division leaders to their 10th consecutive win over their opponents.
Dwyane Wade also poured in 20 points and 12 rebounds as Charlotte slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat.
The New York Knicks recorded their fifth successive win, breezing past the Detroit Pistons 99-85.
Tyson Chandler took the plaudits after a third consecutive 20-rebound game, while Carmelo Anthony added 27 points.
Jose Calderon scored 15 points in a noteworthy debut for Detroit, but his efforts were in vain.
David West scored 29 points and Paul George bagged 21 to help the Indiana Pacers move into a share of the Central Division lead with Chicago after beating the Bulls 111-101.
George also contributed 11 rebounds and five assists as the Pacers sealed their 14th successive home win against the injury-hit Bulls, who were once again without Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah due to injury.
The Los Angeles Clippers could also point to the absence of key men as one of the reasons for their surprise 98-90 against the Washington Wizards.
Blake Griffin and Chris Paul both missed the clash and Washington took full advantage as Martell Webster added 21 points to help his side end a four-game losing streak.
Russell Westbrook scored 24 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back from Saturday's defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 112-91 success over an overmatched Dallas Mavericks.
The Philadelphia 76ers ensured Orlando's woes continued after they cruised past the Magic 78-61.
Spencer Hawes led the way for Philadelphia with 21 points and 14 rebounds as Orlando suffered their 10th straight defeat.
The Portland Trail Blazers held off a late fightback from the Minnesota Timberwolves to edge to a 100-98 win while the Utah Jazz beat the Sacramento Kings 98-91 after overtime.