Two nights after having their streak snapped, LeBron James and the Miami Heat looked ready to start a new run.
James scored 36 points, hitting six consecutive 3-pointers in less than six minutes during the first half, and Miami rebounded from its first loss in nearly two months to beat the Hornets in New Orleans, 108-89, Friday night.
The Heat, whose 27-game winning streak ended in Chicago on Wednesday, clinched the top seed for the Eastern Conference playoffs. James kept shooting 3-pointers after making his first one with 1:55 left in the first quarter, and he did not miss until he already had set a season high with his sixth.
‘‘It was one of those nights, so I just kept it going,’’ James said. ‘‘We had a three-on-one break and Mike passed to me, and I stopped for a 3. I hadn’t done that probably since high school or the early years with Cleveland. I felt good. Just tried to keep the Heat wave going.’’
James finished with seven 3s — one shy of his career high — as the crowd at the New Orleans Arena cheered louder and louder after giving him a mixed reception before the game.
Dwyane Wade added 17 points and seven assists for the Heat. Norris Cole scored 12 points and Chris Bosh 10.
But James was the show after drawing fire for complaining about what he thought were a couple of unnecessarily hard fouls by Chicago. He shrugged off the criticism from those who said he should not have complained about the fouls Wednesday, then slammed the door on the Hornets.
Timberwolves 101, Thunder 93 — Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 15 rebounds and Ricky Rubio added 17 points and seven assists to help Minnesota stun Oklahoma City in Minneapolis.
Chase Budinger scored 13 points off the bench and Andrei Kirilenko played superb defense on Thunder star Kevin Durant in the second half to help the Wolves deal the Thunder an unexpected setback in their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference.
Durant had 36 points and seven rebounds, but was just 4 for 9 in the final 22 minutes. Russell Westbrook added 18 points and nine assists for the Thunder, who are now 2½ games behind the Spurs in the West.
Spurs 104, Clippers 102 — Tim Duncan had a season-high 34 points, including a winning 3-point play with 2.2 seconds left, and host San Antonio outlasted Los Angeles.
Duncan also had 11 rebounds for San Antonio (55-17), which won its seventh straight at home. Tony Parker added 24 points and eight assists and Tiago Splitter had 14 points.
Blake Griffin had 18 points, Jamal Crawford added 16 and Chris Paul had 14 for Los Angeles.
Grizzlies 103, Rockets 94 — Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol scored 21 points apiece and host Memphis snapped a two-game losing streak by holding off Houston.
Tony Allen had a strong defensive effort in limiting Rockets’ star James Harden, who came into the game fifth in the league in scoring with a 26.2 average, to 7 points on 3-of-9 shooting.
Jazz 105, Trail Blazers 95 — Mo Williams scored 26 of his 28 points in the second half, and visiting Utah rallied with a 19-3 run in the final minutes to beat Portland.
Paul Millsap added 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Jazz snapped a nine-game losing streak on the road.
The Jazz pulled even with the Lakers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
Knicks 111, Bobcats 102 — J.R. Smith scored 37 points, his third consecutive 30-point outing, and host New York routed Charlotte for a season-high seventh straight win.
Magic 97, Wizards 72 — Tobias Harris had 30 points and 11 rebounds to help host Orlando break an eight-game losing streak.
Nuggets 109, Nets 87 — Rookie Evan Fournier scored a season-high 19 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter, and Denver extended its home winning streak to 18 games by routing Brooklyn.
Raptors 99, Pistons 82 — DeMar DeRozan and Rudy Gay scored 21 points apiece and visiting Toronto ended a five-game skid by beating Detroit.
76ers 97, Cavaliers 87 — Evan Turner scored 23 points and visiting Philadelphia sent Cleveland to its season-high seventh straight loss.