Miami They were tired from six games in nine nights, frustrated with their play and on the cusp of falling two games under .500.
So Dwyane Wade decided to spark the Miami Heat.
Wade had 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists - plus gave a fourth-quarter pep talk as Miami rallied from a late eight-point deficit to beat the Houston Rockets, 88-84, on Thursday night.
"Didn't want to lose. Tired of losing. Ain't used to losing," Wade said. "We've got a good team. And when we were down eight, I told Udonis (Haslem) and those guys that we're not losing this game, so do whatever we've got to do to win this game. And we came out with great focus."
Jason Williams had eight of his 13 points in a decisive late run for Miami, which also got 13 points and nine rebounds from Alonzo Mourning and 12 points from Gary Payton. Former Kansas University standout Wayne Simien added four points.
"I don't know if I'm 100 percent comfortable yet playing with these guys," Williams said. "But each game, I just try to get better."
Yao Ming had 24 points and 14 rebounds for Houston, but scored only two points in the game's final 20:04. Derek Anderson scored 20 points, Stromile Swift had 12 and Juwan Howard 11 for the Rockets, who have dropped three of four to open the season and play their next four on the road.
"The talk has got to change," Yao said. "We need to do it for ourselves - talk the talk and walk the walk."
Clippers 102, Hawks 95
Atlanta - Elton Brand scored 23 points, and Sam Cassell added 21 as the Los Angeles Clippers earned their best start after six games in 20 years.
The Clippers, in first place in the Pacific Division, are 5-1 for the first time since the 1985-86 season.
The Hawks, meanwhile, have lost their first five games for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when they started 0-7.
The Clippers also beat the Hawks, 92-77, Saturday in Los Angeles and have six straight victories in the series.
Corey Maggette, playing in his second game since returning from a strained left hamstring, added 17 points in only 25 minutes for the Clippers.
The Hawks were held to 41 percent shooting from the field, including 1-for-9 on three-point attempts. The Clippers made 48 percent of their shots.
Joe Johnson led the Hawks with 24 points and set a season high with 10 rebounds.
Pistons 111, Suns 104
Phoenix - Richard Hamilton scored 11 points in the final 71â2 minutes, and Chauncey Billups sank a game-clinching three-pointer with 16 seconds to go to keep Detroit unbeaten.
Billups had 27 points and 11 assists for the Pistons, the league's lone team without a loss. At 5-0, they are off to their best start since they won their first eight en route to the NBA title in 1988-89.
The Suns, 0-3 at home, led by 11 with 2:38 to go in the third quarter and eight to start the fourth. The Pistons outscored the Suns 12-2 in the last four minutes.
Hamilton and Tayshaun Prince scored 17 apiece and Rasheed Wallace 16 for Detroit. Ben Wallace had 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Leandro Barbosa scored 21 to lead seven Suns in double figures, but didn't play the final 6:05. Steve Nash scored 18 with eight assists. Shawn Marion had 12 points and 10 rebounds.