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Friday, Dec. 28, 2012

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Stuck in a rut: Charlotte's Gerald Henderson (left) drives past Miami's Norris Cole during the Heat's 105-92 win on Wednesday. AP

Bobcats lose 16th straight


CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — LeBron James grew up watching wrestling.

So when Ric "The Nature Boy" Flair walked into the arena on Wednesday night, one of the NBA's best entertainers knew it was time to put on his own show.

James did just that.

The reigning MVP had 27 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as the Heat handed the Charlotte Bobcats their 16th straight loss, 105-92 on Wednesday night.

Dwyane Wade added 29 points and nine rebounds, and Mario Chalmers had 17 points as the Heat opened a four-game trip with a win.

"When I was a kid, I loved wrestling," James said. "He was one of the guys I loved, too. I think he's one of the creators of what we call swag these days with the Rolexes and the stretch limos and all the girls and all that stuff. He's one of the creators of swag."

James showed some swag of his own early with four dunks in the first five minutes to get the Heat off to a quick start en route to their sixth straight win.

Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game his team respected the Bobcats. However, Spoelstra hinted he was a little worried about the energy the Heat expended in a win over Oklahoma city and whether they would be able to get up for the struggling Bobcats.

Spoelstra talked to his players before the game, and his words seemed to work.

Miami quickly opened a 9-0 lead behind a 3-pointer by Chalmers and three straight dunks — two by James and another by Chris Bosh, who had 14 points. James was the catalyst in the first quarter with 11 points — eight on fast-break dunks — with four steals and four rebounds.

"I thought we came in with the right mind-set and disposition," Spoelstra said. "We were a little more inconsistent in the second half, but we found a way. That Charlotte team continues to claw and scratch and plays hard regardless of the tough road they've had. They just keep on coming at you."

Hornets 97, Magic 94

In Orlando, Robin Lopez had a season-high 29 points, and Greivis Vasquez scored a season-best 27 as New Orleans snapped an 11-game losing streak.

Nuggets 126, Lakers 114

In Denver, Corey Brewer matched his career high with 27 points, and the Nuggets overcame a 40-point effort by Kobe Bryant.

Knicks 99, Suns 97

In Phoenix, J.R. Smith sank a baseline 6.4-meter shot at the buzzer after a Suns turnover with a second to play to lift New York.

Cavaliers 87, Wizards 84

In Washington, Tristan Thompson's three-point play with 24.4 seconds remaining gave Cleveland a victory over the Wizards and its first two-game winning streak of the season.

Hawks 126, Pistons 119 (2OT)

In Atlanta, Josh Smith scored 31 points, Al Horford added 22, and the Hawks beat Detroit in double overtime.

Rockets 87, Timberwolves 84

In Minneapolis, James Harden scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter, and Houston rallied to win its fifth straight.

76ers 99, Grizzlies 89

In Memphis, Dorell Wright scored 28 points, and Spencer Hawes had 20, season-highs for both.

Bucks 108, Nets 93

In Milwaukee, Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, and Monta Ellis added 20 points and a season-high six steals.

Spurs 100, Raptors 80

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 15 points, and the Spurs snapped Toronto's five-game winning streak.

Warriors 94, Jazz 83

In Salt Lake City, Stephen Curry scored 23 points, David Lee added 18, and Golden State beat Utah.

Trail Blazers 109, Kings 91

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points and 12 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers beat Sacramento to avenge a Sunday loss.

Nicolas Batum scored 18 points and J.J. Hickson added 17 points and 14 rebounds for Portland, which built a double-digit lead in the second quarter and then ran away from the Kings, leading by as many as 26 points.

Bulls at Pacers — ppd.

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