Miami Heats Up Over L.A. To Earn 6th Straight Win
Los Angeles — Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade had 23 points apiece, and the Miami Heat beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-95 on Wednesday for their sixth straight win.
Bosh also had 11 rebounds in the Heat’s fifth consecutive victory against the Lakers on Christmas Day. LeBron James added 19 points and Ray Allen had 12.
Miami shot 51 percent (41 for 80) from the field while improving to 7-0 against the Western Conference this season. It was its 19th straight win overall against West opponents.
Nick Young scored 20 points for the Lakers, who were tied four times in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles shot 42 percent (33 for 79) in its third straight loss.
Kobe Bryant was relegated to the sideline with his fractured left knee, leaving him unable to extend his NBA-record Christmas Day appearances to 16. Jodie Meeks had 17 points for Los Angeles, Xavier Henry scored 14 and Pau Gasol had 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Jordan Farmar returned from a left hamstring tear after missing 10 games, giving the Lakers a true point guard to run the offense. But he was ineffective, with three points and two assists in 32 minutes.
The Lakers stayed right with the Heat despite their poor shooting and the absence of Bryant, Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Steve Blake (right elbow). They led by 10 points and never trailed by more than that.
Young’s basket tied the game for the last time at 83-all. The Heat promptly took off on a 13-5 run. Wade, Norris Cole and James scored all of the Heat’s points.
Young answered with his fourth 3-pointer of the game and Meeks made 1 of 2 free throws to pull the Lakers to 96-92 with 1:26 to play. But Wade had an acrobatic reverse layup and James made two foul shots to give Miami some breathing room.
Thunder 123, Knicks 94
New York — Kevin Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled over the New York Knicks, who played without Carmelo Anthony.
The Durant-Anthony showdown between the NBA’s top two scorers was canceled because of Anthony’s sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas spotlight to themselves while winning for the 10th time in 11 games.
The 29-point victory was the largest for a road team on Christmas.
Westbrook finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists in his first triple-double of the season and seventh of his career. Serge Ibaka added 24 points on 10-of-14 shooting.
Amare Stoudemire scored a season-high 22 points, and Tim Hardaway Jr. had 21 for the Knicks, who also were missing starting point guard Raymond Felton. J.R. Smith scored 20 points, but shot 8 for 22 and was booed when he left the court for good.
Bulls 95, Nets 78
New York — Taj Gibson scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 15, and the Chicago Bulls routed the Brooklyn Nets.
Trailing 50-49 early in the third quarter, the Bulls took over behind Butler. He keyed a 21-5 run that gave Chicago control.
Butler, who sat out the last game with a right ankle injury, started the burst with a 3-pointer and then soon added a three-point play that made it 57-52. That was the first of 12 straight points by the Bulls.
Another three-point play by Butler made it 66-52.
Chicago (11-16) led by 19 at the end of the period after Reggie Evans’ dunk with less than a second left ended a 5½-minute field goal drought for the Nets (9-19).