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Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012

Ailing LeBron too much for Lakers

AP

MIAMI — LeBron James was sitting at his locker after the game, a bottle of cold medicine at his side.

News photo
Hard to the hoop: Miami's LeBron James drives past Matt Barnes of the Lakers on Thursday night. The Heat won 98-87. AP

The Los Angeles Lakers would be hard-pressed to believe it was needed.

James shook off flu-like symptoms to put up 31 points, eight rebounds and eight assists — hours after being told to stay away from the team's shootaround practice after calling in with a cough and chest congestion — and the Miami Heat topped the Lakers 98-87 on Thursday night.

Chris Bosh scored 15 for Miami, which won its second straight after a three-game slide.

"A chest cold can get to you at times," James said. "But I felt like I could help the team."

Shane Battier scored 11 and led the way defensively on Kobe Bryant. Mario Chalmers finished with 10 for Miami, which led by as many as 23 points and improved to 5-1 at home.

Miami moved to 5-0 this season without Dwyane Wade, who missed his second straight game with a sprained right ankle. He missed three games earlier this season with left foot soreness.

No problem — James simply did his thing, yet again.

"We don't take his talent for granted, nor do we take Dwyane's talent or Chris' talent," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They're special players and they can rise to the occasion."

Pau Gasol scored a season-high 26 for the Lakers, Bryant scored 24 — 14 of them coming in the fourth quarter — and Andrew Bynum finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

"We tried to adjust to some things," said Bryant, who had a four-game stretch of scoring at least 40 points earlier this month followed by a two-game total of 38 since. "We might want to go back to some of the things that we were doing a few weeks ago in terms of me being on some spots on the floor and things where I'm most comfortable."

Mavs 94, Jazz 91

In Salt Lake City, Shawn Marion scored a season-high 22 points, including a late layup, as Dallas beat Utah to snap a two-game losing streak and cool off the league's hottest team.

The Mavs (9-7) were coming off back-to-back last-possession losses to the Lakers and Clippers.

The Jazz (9-5) lost at home for only the second time all season, and second time in 10 games overall.

Utah led by three early in the fourth after a dunk by C.J. Miles. The game was tied at 87 before Jason Terry hit a 3-pointer, and Marion a layup.

Al Jefferson led the Jazz with 22 points.

Rockets 90, Hornets 88 (OT)

In Houston, Kevin Martin scored 27 of his 32 points in the first half, Samuel Dalembert grabbed a season-high 17 rebounds and the Rockets survived one of the worst fourth quarters in team history.

Jason Smith scored 17 points and Jarrett Jack and Marco Bellinelli added 15 points apiece for New Orleans, which has lost 12 of 13.

The Rockets led by as many as 14, but went 3 for 21 from the field and tied a franchise-record low by scoring only 7 points in the final quarter.



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