Fri, Apr 06, 2012 - Page 19 News List

NBA: Heat win 17th straight at home, top Thunder 98-93

BIG NUMBERS:LeBron James led Miami with 34 points, while in Los Angeles, Andrew Bynum scored 36 points and Kobe Bryant scored 31 as the Lakers beat the Clippers

AP, MIAMI

LeBron James had 34 points and 10 assists and Dwyane Wade scored 19 points as the Miami Heat rallied to beat the Thunder 98-93 on Wednesday night for their 17th straight home victory.

Mario Chalmers scored 13 points, and Chris Bosh had 12 for Miami, who trailed by 11 in the first half before a comeback fueled in part by Russell Westbrook pulling James down from behind on a fast break in the second quarter.

Kevin Durant scored 30 points for Oklahoma City, and Westbrook added 28, but shot 9 for 26. James Harden had 12 for the Thunder, who lost despite holding Miami to 37 percent shooting.

The win moved Miami (39-14) within two games of Chicago (42-13) in the race for the NBA’s best record. Oklahoma City fell to 40-14.

Durant could have given Oklahoma City the lead with one minute, 30 seconds left, backing down James and then trying a turnaround from the left side. His shot was way off, hitting the top of the backboard.

Bosh, who had been three for 13 to that point, made a jumper on the next Miami possession to make it 96-93. Kendrick Perkins then missed two free throws with 43.6 seconds left, the first Thunder misses from the line all night after starting 18 of 18.

After James could not connect on the ensuing Miami trip, it was still a one-possession game. The Thunder called a timeout with 19.5 seconds left and went for the quick three, Durant’s try hitting the front of the rim and going out of bounds. Wade made a pair of foul shots, stretching the lead to five.

LAKERS 113, CLIPPERS 108

In Los Angeles, California, Andrew Bynum scored 36 points and Kobe Bryant added 31 as the first-place Lakers outlasted the Clippers 113-108, widening their Pacific Division lead to 2.5 games over the second-place Clippers and ending their rival’s winning streak at six games.

By taking two out of three against their Staples Center co--tenants, the Lakers also earned the head-to-head tiebreaker in a game that could help decide the division winner and playoff seeding in the West. The division winner will likely earn the No. 3 seed behind Oklahoma City and San Antonio.

Former Laker Caron Butler scored 28 points to lead six Clippers in double figures. Chris Paul added 22 points and 16 assists, Blake Griffin had 15 points and 14 rebounds, and DeAndre Jordan had 11 points and 13 rebounds for the West’s fourth-place team — the designated home team. Their winning streak was the franchise’s best in 20 years.

Ramon Sessions added 16 points and eight assists to help the Lakers win their fourth in a row.

SPURS 87, CELTICS 86

In Boston, Massachusetts, Tim Duncan had 10 points and 16 rebounds as San Antonio won their ninth straight game, recovering to beat Boston after blowing a 17-point, first-half lead.

Duncan also stopped Paul Pierce on the final play, forcing him into a fallaway jumper that bounced off the rim at the buzzer.

Danny Green scored 14 points, and Gary Neal had 13, including a three-pointer with two minutes left that gave the Spurs the lead after Boston went on a 13-4 run to move in front.

Rajon Rondo had 17 points and 11 assists for Boston. The Celtics had won five in a row.

Pierce had 15 points and 10 rebounds, but he could not maneuver into open space after Boston inbounded the ball with 7.9 seconds left. Avery Bradley scored 19 points off the bench for Boston, and Kevin Garnett had 16 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Ray Allen returned after missing six games with a sore right ankle and added seven rebounds and five points, including a three-pointer in the final minute.

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