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Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012

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Everybody jump: Miami's Norris Cole (center) looks to pass as San Antonio's Tim Duncan (left) and Richard Jefferson defend during the Heat's 120-98 win in Miami on Tuesday. AP

James ignites Miami rally


MIAMI — First half, all San Antonio.

Second half, all Miami — and then some.

LeBron James had 33 points and 10 assists, Chris Bosh scored 30 points — the 211-cm forward going coast-to-coast for a dunk to punctuate his effort — and the Heat used a historic third-quarter turnaround to erase what was a 17-point deficit and beat the Spurs 120-98 on Tuesday night, snapping a three-game slide in a most unpredictable manner.

"We have a great luxury with three players who can do special things when you need it," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.

And one of them was in street clothes. Dwyane Wade sat out his fourth game of the season, this time because of a sprained right ankle. No matter: Miami shot 68 percent in the second half, outscoring the Spurs 71-35 after halftime.

"We should be embarrassed," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

For the first 24 minutes, it was the Spurs doing all the embarrassing. San Antonio connected on 12 of its first 15 shots, led 52-35 with 3 minutes to go in the first half, and had Danny Green hit a pair of buzzer-beaters — the first from the top of the key to end the first quarter, the second from near midcourt to beat the halftime horn — to take a 63-49 lead into intermission.

What happened next left both sides befuddled.

"Can't explain it," Bosh said.

Offered Spurs guard Tony Parker: "That's basketball."

Miami outscored San Antonio 39-12 in the third quarter — matching the second-largest differential for any quarter in Heat history, and matching the second-worst differential for a period in Spurs history, according to STATS LLC. James was 7-for-9 in the third quarter. The Spurs — combined — were 4-for-19. James hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put the Heat up 72-68, and Miami simply never stopped rolling from there.

James finished 12-for-21 from the floor, almost erasing any memory of him missing his first four shots. He was battling a cold, but offered no excuse afterward.

"Hopefully I can get over this in the next couple days where I can get back to myself," James said. "I just tried to push through it in the third quarter. My teammates did a great job of finding me and stepping up defensively. We all did that."

Magic 96, Bobcats 89

In Orlando, Dwight Howard had 25 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Magic to their fifth straight win.

Warriors 105, Cavaliers 95

In Cleveland, David Lee scored a season-high 29 points and Nate Robinson added 17 to carry Golden State.

Bulls 118, Suns 97

In Chicago, Carlos Boozer scored 26 of his season-high 31 points in the first half, leading the short-handed Bulls past Phoenix.

Rockets 97, Pistons 80

In Houston, Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and 12 rebounds, Luis Scola also scored 14 and the Rockets won their fourth straight.

Kyle Lowry had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists for Houston, which outrebounded the Pistons 42-35 to offset 21 turnovers. The Rockets shot 49 percent (40 of 81) from the field and scored 21 points off 17 offensive rebounds.

Nuggets 105, Bucks 95

In Milwaukee, Corey Brewer scored a season-high 22 points as Denver started its five-game road trip with a win.

Jazz 108, Clippers 79

In Salt Lake City, Paul Millsap scored 20 points and reserve C.J. Miles added a season-high 19 as Utah got its 16th straight home win.

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