Heat Check: Different mask doesn’t slow James in win over Magic

MIAMI — The NBA made clear what it expected in a protective mask and LeBron James obliged with a less menacing look.

Still, the outcome Saturday night was similar to two nights earlier as the Heat defeated the Orlando Magic 112-98 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

James, who scored 31 points while wearing a black carbon-fiber mask to protect his broken nose in a 108-82 win against the New York Knicks on Thursday night, had 20 points in 31 minutes, 13 seconds while wearing a clear mask against the Magic.

Dwyane Wade hit 10 of 14 shots and finished with 24 points for the Heat (42-14), who won their seventh straight overall and 10th in 11 games. Chris Bosh added 17 points as Miami notched its fifth straight double-digit victory.

The record ties Miami’s best 56-game start. The Heat have done that three times.

Heat vs. Magic

Tobias Harris scored 20 points to pace the Magic (18-43), who had snapped a 16-game road losing streak at Phildelphia on Wednesday.

The Heat led 61-53 at halftime and took control in the third quarter, when they went on a 22-9 run. They led by as many as 23 in the second half.

THE TURNING POINT

Already leading 67-60 with 8:45 left in the third quarter, the Heat scored 22 of the next 31 points during a span of 6:28 to go up 89-69.

THE DIFFERENCE MAKER

James, who besides scoring, had nine rebounds and seven assists.

STAT OF THE GAME

Miami’s defense held Orlando to 4-of-18 shooting from 3-point range.

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WHAT’S NEXT

The Heat will play the Charlotte Bobcats 7:30 p.m. Monday at AmericanAirlines Arena.

You can follow Charlie McCarthy on Twitter @mccarthy_chas or email him at mac1763@bellsouth.net.