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Lebron James scored 39 points and Chris Bosh added 20 as the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 110-100 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena for their 7th straight win. The king could not extend his 6 game streak of averaging 30 or more points on 60% from the field, but still shot 14/24 (58%) overall including 4/8 (50%) from 3 point range collecting 12 rebounds and handing out 7 assists. Bosh hit 10/14 (71%) and also pulled down a dozen boards. Dwayne Wade and Ray Allen each contributed 13 points with DW dishing out 8 assists. The defending champions led from the opening tap to the final gun and shot 47% from the floor overall including 11/29 (38%) from beyond the arc. They also converted 17/22 (77%) from the charity stripe and outrebounded OKC 46-35 despite committing 14 turnovers. Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 40 points on 12/24 (50%) making all 15 of his free throw attempts along with collecting 8 rebounds. Russell Westbrook added 26 along with 10 assists but shot only 7/19 (37%) and committed 6 turnovers. No other OKC players scored in double figures as the THunder trailed by as many as 23 midway through the third quarter. Oklahoma City shot only 44% overall including a dismal 3/13 (23%) from 3 point range. Despite sinking 33/34 (97%) from the charity stripe they recorded only 16 assists and turned the ball over 17 times. James was in position to continue his NBA record run but missed from a couple steps beyond the 3-point line as the shot clock ran down with just over a minute left and Miami up 10. Despite playing without injured starting forward Udonis Haslem (leg) and then losing two starters to foul trouble in the first 6 minutes, the Heat took control by scoring 11 straight points midway through the first period and went up 28-13 when Allen made the free throw after Durant drew his 11th technical foul of the season. Oklahoma City fell to 23-4 at home and suffered back-to-back losses for only the second time all season - with the Heat responsible for the second loss on both occasions. The defeat also dropped the Thunder (39-14) to even in the loss column with Miami (36-14) as the two potentially jockey for home-court advantage if there's a Finals rematch. San Antonio has the best record in the league, and is the only team ahead of Miami and Oklahoma City.
Chris Paul scored 24 points and Blake Griffin added 22 as the LA Clippers leveled the LA Lakers 125-101 last night at the Staples Center. Paul shot 8/14 (57%) from the field and dished out a team high 13 assists. Griffin made good on 11/15 (73%) overall and hauled down 10 rebounds. Chauncey Billups contributed 21 and Caron Butler finished with 13 as the Clippers found what it's like to win while being totally healthy shooting 52% overall including 16/30 (53%) from beyond the arc. The Clip joint outrebounded the Lakeshow 47-37 and recorded 25 assists against 15 turnovers. Kobe bryant led the Lakers with 20 points and 11 assists but committed 6 turnovers. wight Howard added 18 along with 8 rebounds and Antawn Jamison contributed 17 off the bench. The Lakers shot 51% from the floor overall but tanked from beyond the arc making just 6/20 (30%). They did record 30 assists but committed 17 turnovers. The Clippers scored the first 15 points of the contest despite their weariness. At 39-17 they'll need only nine wins after the break to secure the best season in the club's Los Angeles history, and 11 victories for the best year in franchise history, surpassing the 49-win Buffalo Braves in 1974-75. The Clippers appear to be cruising toward the first division title in the woebegone club's 43-year history, dominating the lackluster Pacific and establishing themselves as a legitimate threat to Oklahoma City and San Antonio in the West. The Lakers fell to 25-29 overall but still have won of 8 of their last 12 heading to the break in 10th place out west, four games below .500 with little reason to suspect things will get a whole lot better - particularly without Pau Gasol, who's likely out until April with the latest in their series of serious injuries. Bryant rebounded from his four-point performance Tuesday against Phoenix with a solid game, but the Lakers' defense couldn't keep up with the Clippers' perimeter shooters. Paul, Butler and Matt Barnes hit three 3-pointers apiece.