With guard Dwyane Wade out with knee soreness for the fourth
straight game and forward LeBron James not quite as efficient as
usual, Bosh — the most-criticized member of the Miami Heat's Big
Three — had a huge night.
Bosh made 15 of 22 shots, including eight straight in the second
half, to lead the Heat to a 109-102 victory over the Los Angeles
Lakers on Thursday night at AmericanAirlines Arena.
As a team, the Heat shot 71.4 percent in the fourth quarter, holding
off the Lakers, who pulled to within four points with 2:41 remaining
in the game. Bosh and James combined to score the Heat's final eight
The Heat (31-12) now trail the Indiana Pacers by three games in the
battle for the top record in the Eastern Conference.
For Bosh, it was his highest-scoring game since he had 37 on Dec.
28. During that span, he had two games in which he scored less than
10 points, and it is that inconsistency that frustrates some Heat
fans — although not coach Erik Spoelstra.
"We're not a your-turn play-call team," Spoelstra said. "Chris has
been critical to our execution since we put this team together
because he has the great understanding of balance of when to be
aggressive and when to facilitate.
"He has a great temperament. It's not about one game if he only gets
10 points that he complains he didn't get his touches. He's not
Lakers guard Nick Young, who scored nine points off the bench, said
it was a vintage performance.
"It seemed like the old Bosh," Young said. "We had hands up, but he
was making tough shots."
James wasn't bad, either, making 9 of 15 shots for 27 points while
adding 13 rebounds and six assists. But James also had a game-high
five turnovers and was only 7 of 13 from the foul line.
As a team, the Heat made just 11 of 23 free throws and turned the
ball over 18 times.
That, to some extent, negated the Heat's routinely brilliant
shooting — 57.7 percent — and a better-than-normal rebounding
effort in which Miami beat the Lakers on the boards 48-35.
"A win in this league is hard to come by," James said. "Nick Young
made a tough shot that rattled around the rim. Jodie Meeks made a
pull-up at the end of the shot clock. We can live with those shots.
"We played hard and won the game, and that's all that matters."
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The Lakers (16-27), who lost 14 of their past 17 games, were
led by center Pau Gasol, who had 22 points and 11 rebounds, and
guard Jodie Meeks, who added 22 points, including four
3-pointers. Guard Kendall Marshall added 11 assists and just
Wade wasn't the only star who missed the game. The Lakers were
again without guards Kobe Bryant, who has been out since Dec. 17
due to left-knee surgery; and Steve Nash, who has a foot injury
and has been unable to play since Nov. 10.
James, Wade and Bryant were named All-Star starters on Thursday.
Also Thursday, James, a three-time Olympian, was named to the
pool of 28 players from which the 2016 USA Olympic team will be
chosen. No other Heat or Lakers players were on the list,
including two-time Olympian Wade, 2008 Olympic Bosh or two-time
The Heat on Thursday improved their record without Wade to 7-6.
Miami, which shot 50 percent or better in every quarter, never
trailed. They led 30-27 after the first quarter and 57-46 at
halftime. Of their 25 first-half field goals, 17 were layups or
The Heat led by as many as 16 points in the third quarter and
took an 85-75 advantage in the fourth.
Los Angeles challenged in the fourth quarter but couldn't stop
the Heat, especially Bosh and James.
"We hit some big shots down the stretch, but they hit some
bigger shots," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "We will find a
way to score. That's not our problem. Our problem is defense."
NOTES: Four Heat players — SG Dwyane Wade and F LeBron James, F
Shane Battier and F James Jones — were at the University of
Miami on Wednesday night when Duke defeated the Hurricanes.
Battier is a former Duke player and Jones went to Miami. ...
Lakers SG Kobe Bryant and F Ryan Kelly, who played for Duke last
season, were also at the game. ... Lakers PG Steve Blake, who is
out two more weeks with an elbow injury, played his high school
ball locally at Miami High, where he won a 1998 state title with
Heat F Udonis Haslem. ... Lakers PG Jordan Farmar (hamstring) is
also out for two more weeks. ... The Lakers end their seven-game
road trip with stops on Friday at Orlando and on Sunday against
the New York Knicks. ... The Heat play the San Antonio Spurs on
Sunday and end their four-game homestand on Wednesday against
the Oklahoma City Thunder.
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