MIAMI (AP) Chris Bosh scored 31 points, LeBron James added 27 points and 13 rebounds and the Miami Heat never trailed in a 109-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night.
Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole each finished with 11 points to help the Heat beat the Lakers for the eighth time in their last nine meetings. Miami shot 58 percent and outrebounded the Lakers 48-35.
Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol each scored 22 points for the Lakers, who lost for the 14th time in their last 17 outings. Nick Young added 19 points – needing 20 shots to do it – for Los Angeles, which nearly came all the way back from a 16-point second-half deficit.
Bosh had the biggest shot of the night with 54.4 seconds left, head-faking his way free at the top of the key, stepping in and hitting a 20-footer to give Miami a 108-101 lead and making it a three-possession game. The Heat forced a miss on the Lakers’ next trip, then held on.
Miami was without Dwyane Wade for the fourth straight game and 13th time in 43 contests this season, giving him more time to rest his oft-problematic knees.