Heat Check: Plenty of joy in Christmas triumph over Lakers
Playing away from home and forced to wear short-sleeve shirts for the holiday, the Miami Heat managed to enjoy their Christmas Day anyway.
Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh each scored 23 points to lead the Heat to their sixth straight win, a 101-95 triumph against the Los Angeles Lakers at STAPLES Center on Wednesday.
LeBron James scored 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting — 7 of 7 inside the paint and 0 of 7 outside the paint.
Although some of the marquee matchup status was lost when Lakers star Kobe Bryant was sidelined with a fractured knee last week, the game remained competitive the entire way. It wasn’t until Miami (21-6) went on a 9-0 run to build a 92-83 advantage with 4:03 left that the eventual outcome became clear.
The victory was Miami’s 19th straight against a Western Conference team.
Both teams shot a lot of 3s — Miami was 9 of 27 (33.3 percent) and L.A. was 14 of 36 (38.9 percent) from long distance.
With Heat forward Chris Andersen (two points, one rebound) was limited to 8 minutes due to back tightness, Udonis Haslem played 9 second-half minutes and had two points and two rebounds.
Michael Beasley, who was sidelined seven games due to a strained hamstring until returning Monday vs. Atlanta, was active against the Lakers but did not play.
THE TURNING POINT
Norris Cole scored five points — a 3-pointer and a jumper — to fuel a 9-0 run that gave Miami its 92-83 lead with 4:03 to go.
THE DIFFERENCE MAKER
Wade, playing with fiancee Gabrielle Union among the crowd, had 23 points, seven assists, six rebounds and three steals after resting his knees and sitting out Monday’s OT win against Atlanta.
STAT OF THE GAME
The Heat outscored L.A. 58-26 in the paint.
Wade’s over-the-top pass to James for the one-handed slam:
The Heat continue their four-game road trip at Sacramento on Friday night at 10 p.m.