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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Miami's big three deliver the goods

MIAMI (AP) With the playoffs looming, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh are finding a new gear.

News photo
On fire: Heat guard Dwyane Wade takes a shot as Rockets players Luis Scola, left, and Kevin Martin defend on Sunday in Miami. The Heat won 125-119. AP PHOTO

And they accomplished something Sunday that hadn't been done in more than 50 years.

Each of them had 30-10 nights — James with 33 points and 10 rebounds, Bosh had 31 points and 12 rebounds, and Wade shook off a bruised tailbone to finish with 30 points and 11 boards — as the Miami Heat beat the Houston Rockets 125-119 for their eighth win in nine games.

It was the first time since February 1961 that three teammates finished with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds in a non-overtime game.

"Unbelievable," James said.

"That's why we get paid the big bucks," Wade said.

The last time a team had three players score 30 in the same game was Feb. 26, 2010, when Houston had Martin, Aaron Brooks and Scola combine for 94 against San Antonio. Before that, you'd have to go back all the way to Nov. 14, 1997, when Portland's Isaiah Rider, Brian Grant and Arvydas Sabonis all had 30-plus points and 10 or more rebounds in a quadruple-overtime win over Phoenix.

But doing it in regulation, the last time that happened was a half-century ago, when Oscar Robertson, Jack Twyman and Wayne Embry — Hall of Famers all — did it for the Cincinnati Royals in a loss to the Philadelphia Warriors.

"One of the things we talked about when we came together was making history," Bosh said.

Mike Bibby added 14 points for the Heat, who beat Houston by the same score on Dec. 29.

Kevin Martin scored 29 points, Luis Scola added 28 and Kyle Lowry — who tweaked an ankle late — had 25 points, nine assists and seven rebounds for the Rockets. Chase Budinger scored 16 for Houston, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.

"We started man-to-man and Wade and James just ran by us," Rockets coach Rick Adelman said. "Then we went to a zone and we knew that was going to be a problem. Even then, we didn't put a body on people. We were trying to keep them from getting the easy opportunities and we didn't do it."

Grizzlies 111, Spurs 104

In Memphis, Tony Allen and Zach Randolph had 23 points apiece, and the Grizzlies sent San Antonio to its third straight loss.

Randolph also grabbed 11 rebounds for Memphis, which currently holds the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. If the Grizzlies earn the No. 8 seed, they will likely face the NBA-leading Spurs in the opening round of the playoffs.

Celtics 85, Timberwolves 82

In Minneapolis, Paul Pierce had 23 points and seven rebounds, and Boston nearly gave away another huge lead in a victory over Minnesota.

Thunder 99, Trail Blazers 90

In Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook hit three 3-pointers down the stretch, including the clincher with 21 seconds left, and the Thunder overcame a 40-point night by Gerald Wallace to beat Portland and clinch its second straight playoff berth.

Lakers 102, Hornets 84

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points, Pau Gasol had 23 points and 16 rebounds, and the Lakers inched closer to the top of the overall NBA standings with its 15th win in 16 games since the All-Star break.

Mavericks 91, Suns 83

In Phoenix, Jason Kidd sank a pair of 3-pointers in the final 1:11 and Dallas pulled out a victory that may have dropped the curtains on the Suns' hopes for a playoff berth.

Hawks 99, Cavaliers 83

In Cleveland, Marvin Williams scored a season-high 31 points and Al Horford added 20, leading Atlanta over the Cavaliers.

Atlanta played without leading scorer Joe Johnson, but never trailed. Johnson, who averages 18.5 points, sprained his right thumb Saturday, but the Hawks didn't need him to defeat the Cavaliers, who have the worst record in the NBA.

Kings 114, 76ers 111 (OT)

In Philadelphia, Marcus Thornton scored 32 points and former Sixers center Samuel Dalembert made two free throws in the closing seconds of overtime for Sacramento.

Warriors 114, Wizards 104

In Oakland, Calif., Monta Ellis had 37 points and 13 assists, leading Golden State past road-weary Washington.

Ellis played the entire game and added seven rebounds, and David Lee had a season-high 33 points to help the Warriors to their second straight victory.

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