James clips LA's wings
LA CLIPPERS 112
MIAMI HEAT 116
Blake Griffin edged LeBron James in the statistical battle, but James got more help and emerged with the win.
Overcoming Griffin's season-high 43 points, the Miami Heat used a balanced attack and a clutch three-pointer from guard Ray Allen to hold off the Los Angeles Clippers for a 116-112 yesterday morning (Singapore time).
James, Miami's MVP forward, finished with 31 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds before a crowd of 19,672 at Staples Center. Six of his teammates scored in double figures, too.
Griffin, Los Angeles' All-Star forward, also had 15 rebounds and six assists.
Los Angeles guard Jamal Crawford contributed 31 points and six assists, and centre DeAndre Jordan added 16 points and 16 rebounds for the Clippers.
"We stayed composed and we found a way to get a win," said James, who shot 11-for-20 from the floor, including 3-for-7 from three-point range.
Allen, who finished with 15 points, sank a three-pointer with 42.4 seconds left after the Clippers cut Miami's lead to 109-107.
Crawford was called for a charging foul five seconds later, and James hit three of four free-throws in the closing seconds, allowing the Heat to wrap up their sixth win in seven games.
"They made a heck of a run," said Miami guard Dwyane Wade, who scored 14 points and dished out eight assists in his 700th career game.
"They were very aggressive, but we're not new to it. But what we did is executed and got the ball in the hands of guys we needed."
STEM THE TIDE
James, who also committed seven turnovers, helped Miami (35-13) end a five-game losing streak to the Clippers (34-18) at Staples. The Heat beat the Clippers in LA for the first time since December 2007.
James said getting key contributions from several teammates played a major factor in the outcome.
"We pride ourselves offensively on moving the ball," James said.
"We know it's easier for all of us to keep everyone in a rhythm with the basketball, sharing the ball. We had some turnovers, including myself.
"I was the main culprit turning the ball over." - Reuters.
l New York Knicks 90 Portland Trail Blazers 94, Sacramento Kings 109 Toronto Raptors 101, Denver Nuggets 110 Milwaukee Bucks 100, Houston Rockets 122 Phoenix Suns 108, Memphis Grizzlies 96 Dallas Mavericks 110, New Orleans Pelicans 105 Atlanta Hawks 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 106 Minnesota Timberwolves 97, Cleveland Cavaliers 108 LA Lakers 119, Philadelphia 76ers 108 Boston Celtics 114, Washington Wizards 118 San Antonio Spurs 125 (OT), Orlando Magic 112 Detroit Pistons 98.