Lebron James lit the Lakers up for 31 points as the Heat ripped the Lakers in Miami 98-87. Chris Bosh chipped in 15 for the Heat who won their second straight game following a three game losing skid. The Heat also have been without Dwayne Wade for the two wins and are 5-0 this season in games Wade has not played. James missed shootaround due to a chest cold but showed up when the lights came on. “A chest cold can get to you at times,” James said. “But I felt like I could help the team.”
“We don’t take his talent for granted, nor do we take Dwyane’s talent or Chris’ talent,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “They’re special players and they can rise to the occasion.”
Pau Gasol scored a season high 26 to lead the Lakers. Kobe Bryant added 24 (14 in the fourth quarter). Andrew Bynum had 15 points and 12 rebounds. “We tried to adjust to some things,” said Bryant, who had a four-game stretch of scoring at least 40 points earlier this month followed by a two-game total of 38 since. “We might want to go back to some of the things that we were doing a few weeks ago in terms of me being on some spots on the floor and things where I’m most comfortable.”
“They were the aggressors on both ends of the floor until the last few minutes of the game,” Lakers coach Mike Brown said of the Heat. “We were aggressive the last six, seven minutes. You can’t go over a 48-minute game against a team like this and allow them to be the aggressor for most of the night.”
It was the first time James had gone against Brown, his former coach in Cleveland. James ran over to Brown moments before tip-off for a long embrace.
“I had a great time coaching LeBron,” Brown said. “I wouldn’t be in this suit if it wasn’t for him.”
In other Thursday night action, the Rockets beat the the Hornets 90-88 in OT. Kevin Martin knocked down 32 points to lead the Rockets. Houston ran its record to 8-7 and won despite a pitiful 7 points in the fourth quarter. The Honets rallied from 12 down at the end of the third to tie it 82-82 at the end of regulation. “We weren’t executing the right way,” the Rockets forward, Luis Scola said. “They came back, and that’s what happens when you don’t play good.”
“It just looked like the life was out of us,” Martin said. “But we found a way to pull out that one.”
“I always tell them, `Give the fight and do your best,”’ New Orleans coach Monty Williams said. “We did everything we could to win the game.” The Hornets fell to 3-12.
In Utah, Dallas beat the Jazz by 3, 94-91. “We hung in there,” said Mavs forward Shawn Marion who led Dallas with 22 points. “We knew they were going to make a run. They’re a young and energetic team. They play hard in this building. We kept our composure. We were able to respond after every run they made.”