LEBRON FIRES HEAT TO ANOTHER WIN; STRONG 4TH QUARTER GETS LA LAKERS THE WIN WHILE OKC FALL IN UTAH
Miami’s ‘Big Three’ combined for an impressive 86 POINTS to help the Heat (35-14) beat Portland (25-27) 117-104 at the American Airlines Arena. Chris Bosh top scored with 32 points (13/16 FG) and collected 11 rebounds but the plaudits will go to his team-mate as LeBron James posted 30 points for the sixth consecutive game helping the franchise to their 1,000th win in the NBA. James had six assists early on as Miami took an early lead before LaMarcus Aldridge (29p) scored ELEVEN unanswered points across quarters to give Portland a 37-29 advantage. The visitors then opened up a fourteen point gap midway through the second only for Miami to respond with a 15-2 close to the half with LeBron contributing ten points during the run. A 17-4 tear from the home side, containing successive triples from Shane Battier, turned the game on its head as Miami now enjoyed a fourteen point lead at 81-67. However, the game wasn’t done there as Damian Lillard (33p) added nine points late on in the third to help trim the deficit to four at 86-82. A 7-0 run gave Portland the lead again before the teams continued to trade the lead until Ray Allen fired Miami into the lead for the final time with a 3-pointer at the start of a 12-0 burst which sealed their sixth win in a row.
STAT: No player had scored 30+ points in six straight games in the NBA with a 60% shooting percentage before LeBron achieved the feat tonight.
LA Lakers (25-28) survived a third quarter wobble and only a four point contribution from Kobe Bryant to defeat the Phoenix Suns (17-36) 91-85. Dwight Howard will have silenced a few critics with his big double-double of 19 points and 18 rebounds while Bryant and Steve Nash dished out 17 assists between them. Phoenix outscored thier opponents 24-9 in the third to lead 71-65 before the Lakers came back to get the victory and close in on the play-off positions. Memphis (33-18) have the best current win streak (3) in the West after beating Sacramento (19-34) thanks in large to a 24-12 double-double from Marc Gasol.
Oklahoma (39-13) fell to a 109-94 defeat in Utah despite a 33 point haul from Kevin Durant. KD also added six rebounds, five assists and four steals to his impressive stat-line for Thunder but it was Al Jefferson’s 23 points that helped Utah Jazz (29-24) to the win after a strong final quarter. Toronto (20-32) kept up their push for the play-offs with their third straight win after Rudy Gay netted another late game-winner in the 109-108 win against the Denver Nuggets (33-20). Ty Lawson led the visitors with 29 points and nine assists while the Raptors were led by DeMar DaRozan’s 22 points. The final game saw Houston (29-25) win 116-107 on the road against Golden State (30-22) with James Harden and Stephen Curry leading their respective sides with 27 points each.
STAT: Serge Ibaka tied his season-best with a total of SEVEN blocks against Utah.
Check-out LeBron‘s record-breaking night against Portland: (NBA)