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Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010

Heat make it nine straight

MIAMI (AP) LeBron James banked in a runner as he drew a foul, then joined the crowd's roar and threw a fist.

News photo
They got game: President Barack Obama and Kobe Bryant pose for photographs on Monday at an event to honor the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in Washington. AP PHOTO

A knockout punch?

Pretty much.

The basket came during a second-half spurt that turned a close game into another romp for the Miami Heat. They trailed early and waited until the end of the third quarter to make their move, winning by double figures for the ninth game in a row by beating New Orleans 96-84.

Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, topping 30 for the third consecutive game, and Chris Bosh added 23 points and 11 rebounds. The Heat blew the game open with an 18-2 spurt that put them up 94-77.

"This was for us one of the most gratifying wins, because it was a grind-out game," Wade said. "We were able to stick to it until our time finally came."

Wade had an especially efficient night: 8-for-13 from the field and 14 of 17 from the free-throw line. James had 20 points and seven assists for Miami, back home after a four-game road sweep.

"They do the same thing every night," Hornets coach Monty Williams said. "Nobody can stop them."

While the Heat roll, New Orleans continues to struggle. With a loss for the second day in a row, the Hornets fell to 3-9 since an 11-1 start. They haven't scored 100 points since Nov. 19, a stretch of 13 games.

"We need to get a win so we could see how it feels," said Chris Paul, who managed only 11 points. David West had 26 points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets, who went 1-for-13 from 3-point range.

Bulls 92, Pacers 73

In Chicago, Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 18 rebounds, and Derrick Rose added 17 points and 12 assists as the Bulls got their first six-game winning streak since Nov. 25-Dec. 8, 2006.

Brandon Rush and T.J. Ford both had 13 points for Indiana.

Bucks 103, Mavericks 99

In Dallas, Brandon Jennings had 23 points and 10 assists, and Milwaukee rallied from a 20-point second-quarter deficit to end the Mavericks' 12-game winning streak.

Andrew Bogut had 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Keyon Dooling added 16 points for the Bucks, who won their fourth in five games.

Dirk Nowitzki scored 30 points for Dallas.

Jazz 108, Warriors 95

In Salt Lake City, Deron Williams scored 30 points, and reserve C.J. Miles had 20 points and six rebounds as Utah sent Golden State to its seventh straight loss.

Dorell Wright led the Warriors with 20 points.

Grizzlies 86, Blazers 73

In Memphis, Zach Randolph had 25 points and 20 rebounds, and Rudy Gay added 16 points to lead the Grizzlies to their third straight win.

Wesley Matthews scored 18 points for Portland.

Trade talk dismissed

DENVER (AP) Any other time, Carmelo Anthony's balky right knee might draw more attention.

Instead, the nagging injury took a back seat to a much bigger and broader question: Does the All-Star still want to be a member of the Denver Nuggets?

Following a four-game road trip, Anthony insisted it was good to be home — even if he has no idea how much longer this may still be home.

Anthony has been the subject of trade speculation since spurning the Nuggets' three-year, $65 million extension over the summer.

The rumor mill cranked up over the weekend as Anthony played in New York against the Knicks, a team he reportedly has interest in playing for one day.

He downplayed all the reports that surfaced while he was in the Big Apple.

"More of the drama, man," Anthony told reporters Monday after a maintenance day for the players. "I was there and so it was a hot topic to talk about it. I'm not worrying about it. That's not my focus right now. My focus is to try to get some wins back home."

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