|Miami Heat forward LeBron James dunks against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday. (USA Today-Yonhap News)|
LOS ANGELES (AP) ― 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. Westbrook leads Thunder
NEW YORK (AP) ― Not only was there no Kevin Durant-Carmelo Anthony showdown, there wasn’t much of a game, either.
The Oklahoma City Thunder made sure of it with the most dominant performance ever by a road team on Christmas.
Durant scored 29 points, Russell Westbrook had a triple-double by the middle of the third quarter, and the Thunder rolled to a 123-94 victory Wednesday over the New York Knicks.
The 29-point victory was the largest for a road team on Christmas.
“I just know that if we play the way we play, team basketball, Thunder basketball, not too many teams that can beat us,” Westbrook said.
The Knicks, without Anthony, weren’t one of them.
The matchup between the NBA’s top two scorers was canceled because of Anthony’s sprained left ankle, so the Thunder had the Christmas spotlight all to themselves while winning for the 10th time in 11 games.
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 as the Thunder left a sellout crowd of 19,812 booing the home team, or making no noise at all.
“I said that on the bench, I was like, ‘Man, it feels like nobody’s in here,’” Durant said.
Amar’e 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.Gibson, Bulls rout Nets
NEW YORK (AP) ― Taj Gibson enjoyed coming home for the holidays.
Gibson, a Brooklyn native, scored 20 points and Jimmy Butler added 15 to help the Chicago Bulls rout the Nets 95-78 on Wednesday.
“It was stressful,” said the 28-year-old, who grew up minutes from Barclays Center. “I did a toy drive and I was tired, but it was great to see my family.”
Gibson led a balanced offense with six players in double figures for Chicago, which was buoyed by the return of guards Kirk Hinrich and Butler.
With the Bulls trailing 50-49 early in the third quarter, Butler took over, keying 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 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.
“Coming out of halftime was a focus for us,” Hinrich said.
Chicago (11-16) led by 19 at the end of the period after Reggie Evans’ dunk with less than a second left ended a 5 1/2-minute field goal drought for the Nets (9-19).
Houston 111, San Antonio 98
Golden State 105, LA Clippers 103