Lakers burnt by Miami

Heat’s LeBron James (right) pipped Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in the battle of NBA giants.
Heat’s LeBron James (right) pipped Lakers’ Kobe Bryant in the battle of NBA giants.

MIAMI – LeBron James scored 32 points on 12-for-18 shooting in a record-setting show, Dwyane Wade scored 30 and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 107-97 last night for their fifth straight win.

It was also James’ fifth straight game with at least 30 points, a franchise record. He also joined Adrian Dantley (1979) and Moses Malone (1982) as the only NBA players to score at least 30 and shoot at least 60 percent in five straight outings.

“Don’t take it for granted,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s making greatness look easy.”

Mario Chalmers scored 13 and Chris Bosh finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds for the Heat.

Kobe Bryant had 28 points and nine assists for the Lakers, who also got 18 points from Earl Clark. The Lakers had eight turnovers in the fourth quarter, while Miami had none.

With the win, Miami moved 21?2 games clear of the New York Knicks in the Eastern Conference standings. The Knicks lost to the Los Angeles Clippers earlier Sunday.

Dwight Howard and Steve Nash each scored 15 for the Lakers.

The teams finished the first half tied at 53, and the third period didn’t allow either team much in the way of breathing room either, until the final seconds. That’s when James started

flexing some muscle. James scored Miami’s last 11 points of the

third, all in the final 4:20, and four of those came in the last six seconds.

Meamnwhile, Thabo Sefolosha made a career-high 5 of 7 3-pointers and the Oklahoma City Thunder routed the Phoenix Suns for the second game in a row 97-69.

The 28-point blowout followed a 127-96 Thunder romp over the Suns in Oklahoma City on Friday night.

Russell Westbrook scored 24 points in 28 minutes in the Thunder’s 10th straight victory over Phoenix, the longest active streak for any Suns

opponent. Sefolosha added 20 points,

two shy of his career high. Kevin Durant scored 18, 11 below his NBA-leading season average (29.1), in limited duty in the Thunder’s fourth straight win, none of them by fewer than a 21-point margin.

Other scores last night: Clippers 102, Knicks 88; Nuggets 114, Boston 118; Hornets 89, Raptors 102; Trail Blazers 104, Magic 110; Timberwolves 88, Grizzlies 105; Spurs 111, Nets 86; Rockets 111, Kings 117.

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