Game Night! Miami @ Oklahoma

MIAMI LEAD FROM TIP TO BUZZER AGAINST OKC AS LBJ & KD DO BATTLE WHILE THE CLIPPERS WIN THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES

LeBron James dropped 39 points on Oklahoma (39-14) as Miami (36-14) recorded a 110-100 victory in a repeat of last year’s NBA Finals. Chris Bosh added 20 points and 12 boards while Kevin Durant produced a game-high 40 points for the Thunder despite missing his first seven attempts from the field. The teams were evenly matched early on before LeBron added six points after an Oklahoma time-out as the Heat embarked on a 11-0 run to take control in the first. Norris Cole completed a lay-up on the buzzer to give Miami a 32-17 advantage at the end of the opening quarter. Durant finally made a field goal drop in the second when he netted a triple although Miami‘s lead continued to rise. James scored ten points in a row for Miami while Russell Westbrook (24p, 10a) added nine for the hosts before Bosh finished the half with a dunk to make the score 63-46 in favour of the visiting Heat. The lead peaked at 73-50 on a Mario Chalmers 3-pointer before Reggie Jackson helped Oklahoma narrow the deficit with seven points. Shane Battier scored his first points of the night with a three to give Miami an 88-69 advantage after the third. Durant and Kevin Martin combined to make it 94-82 before LeBron nailed a dagger three. The home side managed to cut the gap into single figures after Dwayne Wade (13p, 8a) had fouled out but it proved too little too late as Ray Allen (13p) secured the win with a pair of free throws.

LA Clippers (39-17) defeated the Lakers (25-29) 125-101 for their fourth win in a row to match OKC‘s win tally for the season. The Clippers were led by their All-Stars as Chris Paul top scored with 24 points as well as 13 assists while Blake Griffin had a 22-10 double-double.  They were officially the visitors at Staples Centre and used a strong start once again to power away to victory. A 31-17 opening quarter was supported by a dominant third quarter as the Lakers struggled to compete. Kobe Bryant recovered from his blip against Phoenix to lead the ‘hosts’ with 20 points whilst providing 11 assists. The Lakers remain outside the play-off positions as it stands with Houston (29-26) currently occupying the eighth spot.

Check-out the duel between LeBron and KD in Oklahoma: (NBA)

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Game Time! Around the NBA

HOME WINS FOR HEAT, KNICKS & THUNDER WHILE CHICAGO & CLIPPERS FALL ON THE ROAD

Miami Heat (31-14) survived a resilient Charlotte Bobcats (11-36) to win 99-94 and remain at the top of the Eastern standings. Lebron James posted a near triple-double with 31 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists while Chris Bosh– 23 points- and Dwayne Wade– 20 points and 12 rebounds- added their usual support. The Bobcats- who now have the worst record in the league following the defeat- had a slender lead in the final quarter and former Laker Ramon Sessions top scored with 18 points.

STAT: Lebron James had a career high shooting percentage of 92.1 making 13/14 FG attempts.

New York Knicks (31-15) matched Miami‘s win tally for the season with a comfortable 99-85 home win against the Detroit Pistons (18-31). Carmelo Anthony had a game high 27 points with the damage done in the first half as the Knicks opened up a 21 point gap. Having received clearance just a few hours before tip-off, Jose Calderon top scored for Detroit with 18 points on his debut following his recent trade that ended an 8 year spell with the Raptors.

STAT: Tyson Chandler posted 20 rebounds for the third consecutive game to equal the franchise record for the Knicks.

Oklahoma (36-12) defeated Dallas (20-28) 112-91 after a dominant first half display helped the Thunder assert their authority. Russell Westbrook had 24 points and 7 assists with Kevin Durant contributing a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds in the victory. LA Clippers (34-16) lost ground on OKC in the Western standings following their third straight defeat as the Washington Wizards (12-35) picked up a 98-90 win. Blake Griffin was ruled out of the game prior to the tip-off to join Chris Paul on the sidelines and a 28 point haul from Jamal Crawford along with a career high 22 rebounds from DeAndre Jordan were unable to end the Clippers losing run.

STAT: Clippers have won just three of their last ten games as they struggle to cope without CP3.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 25 points and 13 boards to inspire the Portland Trail Blazers (25-23) to a close-fought 100-98 win against Minnesota (18-27). The Timberwolves battled back in the fourth to set up a tense finale; outscoring the visitors 40-23 before falling short. Aldridge came up with the block on Ricky Rubio– who had 15p and 14a- in the final seconds. Another all-Western clash went to the wire in Utah as the Jazz prevailed in overtime to beat Sacramento Kings (17-33) 98-91.

STAT: It was the fifth consecutive game that Aldridge posted a double-double.

Indiana Pacers (29-19) improved to the third best record in the East after adding insult to injuries for a depleted Chicago Bulls side. David West followed up his 30 point haul against Miami with another 29 to help Indiana to a 111-101 victory- their third in a row. Marco Belinelli had a season-high 24 points in just 24 minutes off the bench with Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose and Kirk Hinrich all sidelined. The final game saw the Philadelphia 76ers (21-26) win their third straight game as they make their push into the play-off positions; beating Orlando 78-61. Magic have now lost ten in a row with Spencer Dawes– 21p,14r- and Jrue Holiday– 13p,14a- enjoying double-doubles in the win.

STAT: A season-best performance from Dawes eclisping a 21p,12r display against Milwaukee (21/01/13).