HOUSTON — Stephen Curry scored 32 points, Klay Thompson had 25 and the Golden State Warriors built a big lead early and held on for a 113-106 win over the Houston Rockets on Tuesday night.
The Warriors scored 37 points in the first quarter and never trailed on the way to their eighth straight victory and 60th this season.
Golden State led by eight after a pair of free throws by Curry with just over three minutes left. Patrick Beverley countered with a tip-in layup for Houston, then was fouled when he was knocked to the ground on a screen by Draymond Green seconds later.
James Harden missed a layup on the next possession before Green added a shot on the other end to put the Warriors up 107-99.
Another layup miss by Harden followed, and Curry made a 3-pointer with 1:46 left to send fans streaming to the exits.
Heat 97, Pistons 96 Hassan Whiteside tipped in a shot with his left hand as time expired to lift Miami over Detroit.
Whiteside, playing with a thick bandage on his right hand to protect 13 stitches he got a week ago, tipped in Goran Dragic’s miss after a wild final play over the game’s final 11.3 seconds. James Johnson took the initial shot for Miami, Dragic muscled the rebound off the rim and Whiteside elevated over Andre Drummond for the winning tip.
The win was huge for Miami (36-38), which moved one game ahead of No. 9 Chicago and 2 1/2 games ahead of No. 10 Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Dragic scored 28 points and Whiteside finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for the Heat.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope had 25 points and Tobias Harris and Ish Smith each scored 19 for the Pistons (34-41). Detroit lost its fifth straight and eighth in nine games.
Wizards 118, Lakers 108 John Wall scored 34 points and Washington rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Los Angeles, clinching the Southeast Division title for its first division crown in 38 years.
Wall shot 14 of 25 and Bradley Beal was held to 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting, but the Wizards ended the longest division-title drought in NBA history with their fourth straight victory.