LeBron James scored 25 points against his former team to lead the Miami Heat to a 114-107 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers in their NBA game on Saturday.
Dwyane Wade added 24 points and Chris Bosh had 22 for the Heat, who squandered a 19-point third-quarter lead before rallying from a two-point deficit with eight unanswered points late in the fourth.
Kyrie Irving scored 19 points for the Cavaliers, who played the second half without coach Mike Brown after he was ejected late in the second after storming onto the court looking for a foul on Shane Battier’s block of Alonzo Gee’s layup.
In other games, the Portland Trail Blazers became the second NBA team to reach 20 wins after beating the Philadelphia 76ers 139-105, while the Los Angeles Lakers won their first game since Kobe Bryant’s return, topping the Charlotte Bobcats 88-85 as crosstown rivals the Clippers beat the Washington Wizards 113-97.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 16 rebounds, while Nicolas Batum added 17 points for Portland, who set a franchise record for three-pointers with 21.
Damian Lillard scored 16 and Dorell Wright had 15 on 5-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc for the Northwest Division leaders, who won their third in a row and improved to 20-4. They have the second-best record in the NBA after the Indiana Pacers (20-3).
Bryant scored a season-high 21 points for his first win since returning from a torn Achilles tendon four games ago.
Bryant was 8 of 15 from the field and hit two free throws with 37 seconds left to put the Lakers ahead for good after they trailed most of the game. Pau Gasol and Jordan Hill had 15 points apiece for Los Angeles.
The Clippers finished their seven-game road trip with a victory to go 4-3. They are now 6-6 on the season against the pedestrian Eastern Conference and 10-3 against the mighty Western Conference.
Chris Paul had 38 points and 12 assists, while Jamal Crawford — making his first start since April last year — finished with 17 points, with Blake Griffin adding 16 points and nine rebounds.
John Wall had 24 points and 12 assists for the Wizards, who were again missing Brazilian forward Nene due to a foot injury.
Washington have lost seven in a row with Nene not on the court and are 3-24 without him since the beginning of last season.
Elsewhere in the league, San Antonio’s Tim Duncan continued his run of good form, scoring 22 points and grabbing 12 rebounds in the Spurs’ 100-84 win over the Utah Jazz.
After a slow start to the season, the 37-year-old Duncan is averaging 17 points and 13 rebounds over his past six games. Tony Parker scored 15 points and Kawhi Leonard added 13 for the Spurs.
Also on Saturday, it was:
‧ Knicks 111, Hawks 106
‧ Mavericks 106, Bucks 93
‧ Raptors 99, Bulls 77