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Thursday, Jan. 6, 2011

Spoelstra satisfied as Heat grind out victory

MIAMI (AP) Throughout their sizzling turnaround of the past few weeks, the Miami Heat have made the game look absolutely easy at times.

This one was different.

And that thrilled Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.

Dwyane Wade scored 34 points, LeBron James added 25 points and nine assists, and the Heat pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-89 on Tuesday night for their 19th win in 20 games. An 18-6 run over an 8-minute span got the late-game push going, and a 13-0 late burst sealed it for Miami.

"The players probably enjoyed some other games more," Spoelstra said. "But I think this was an important game. That's a very physical team. They're a very good defensive team. A lot of times when you play against them, it's a grind-out game, and we had to play a different kind of game tonight, have some mental toughness and resiliency when things weren't necessarily going our way."

Chris Bosh finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds for the Heat, who trailed most of the third quarter before getting rolling. It was Miami's final home game for two weeks; the Heat will put their 11-game road winning streak on the line when they visit Milwaukee on Friday.

"We see why this team has beaten some very good teams," Wade said.

Lakers 108, Pistons 83

In Los Angeles, Pau Gasol scored 21 points and the Lakers finally found a sub.-500 team they could beat easily.

Kobe Bryant added 17 points, moving him past Dominique Wilkins into 10th on the NBA's career scoring list with 26,671. Andrew Bynum finished with 13 points after scoring eight of the Lakers' first 14 points of the game.

Knicks 128, Spurs 115

In New York, Wilson Chandler scored a season-high 31 points, and the Knicks overwhelmed San Antonio with a sensational offensive performance.

Mavericks 84, Trail Blazers 81

In Dallas, Jason Terry scored 12 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, DeShawn Stevenson also had 18 points and the injury-depleted Mavericks held on for the victory.

Grizzlies 110, Thunder 105

In Memphis, Zach Randolph scored 31 points, including 13 in the fourth quarter, and Tony Allen made two late free throws to help the Grizzlies get the win.

Hawks 108, Kings 102

In Sacramento, Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 31 points, Joe Johnson had 29 and Atlanta earned its fourth victory in five games.

Bulls 111, Raptors 91

In Chicago, Luol Deng scored 24 points, leading the surging Bulls to another win.

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