James makes impressive return

LeBron James announced his return to the Miami line-up with 26 points as the Heat beat the Denver Nuggets 97-94.

James sat out the last game with a groin injury but was back with a bang to lead the Heat to victory with support from Chris Bosh, who added 17 points.

There was bad news though for the Heat as they lost both Dwayne Wade (back spasms) and Norris Cole (face), though neither appeared serious.

Jimmy Butler scored 26 points to help the Chicago Bulls to a 95-91 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies.

Carlos Boozer also had a big game with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Bulls made do without Luol Deng (Achilles) for a fifth straight game.

Mike Conley led the Grizzlies with 26 points and nine assists.

Jrue Holiday poured in 31 points to help the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-108.

Tyreke Evans scored the winning basket with just 1.2 seconds left to play.

Shawn Marion's 32 points lifted the Dallas Mavericks to a 100-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves, while John Wall scored 29 points as the Washington Wizards saw off the Detroit Pistons 106-99.

There were also wins for the Utah Jazz and the Phoenix Suns.