x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

NBA: LeBron James keeps Miami Heat alight with win over Bobcats

The Miami Heat forward was top scorer for the second game running as he bagged 31 points in Miami's 99-94 victory over Charlotte.

Miami's LeBron James drives against Byron Mullens, Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats.
Miami's LeBron James drives against Byron Mullens, Ben Gordon and Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Bobcats.

LeBron James was Miami's top-scorer for the second game in a row as the Heat edged past the Charlotte Bobcats 99-94.

James bagged 30 points against the Toronto Raptors 24 hours ago and went one better against the Bobcats, notching 31 to guide the NBA South-East Division leaders to their 10th consecutive win over their opponents.

Dwyane Wade also poured in 20 points and 12 rebounds as Charlotte slipped to their fourth consecutive defeat.

The New York Knicks recorded their fifth successive win, breezing past the Detroit Pistons 99-85.

Tyson Chandler took the plaudits after a third consecutive 20-rebound game, while Carmelo Anthony added 27 points.

Jose Calderón scored 15 points in a noteworthy debut for Detroit, but his efforts were in vain.

David West scored 29 points and Paul George bagged 21 to help the Indiana Pacers move into a share of the Central Division lead with Chicago after beating the Bulls 111-101.

George also contributed 11 rebounds and five assists as the Pacers sealed their 14th successive home win against the injury-hit Bulls, who were once again without Kirk Hinrich, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah due to injury.

Meanwhile, with NBA All-Star forward Blake Griffin sidelined by a pregame hamstring injury, the Los Angeles Clippers lost their third game in a row, falling 98-90 at Washington.

Griffin had started 197 consecutive games before missing the contest for the Clippers, who have been without All-Star guard Chris Paul for the past eight games as well due to a knee injury.

Martell Webster made 5-of-6 shots from 3-point range to lead the Wizards with 21 points while Brazil's Nene and Garrett Temple each scored 15 points and John Wall added 13 points and eight assists for Washington (12-35).

Emeka Okafor had 14 rebounds and Trevor Ariza added 10 points off the bench for the Wizards, who snapped a four-game losing streak.

Jamal Crawford scored 28 points and Eric Bledsoe scored 17 points and passed off nine assists for the Clippers, who still lead the Pacific division at 34-16. DeAndre Jordan contributed a career-high 22 rebounds in a losing cause.

Elsewhere Russell Westbrook scored 24 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder bounced back from Saturday's defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers with a 112-91 success over an overmatched Dallas Mavericks.

The Philadelphia 76ers ensured Orlando's woes continued after they cruised past the Magic 78-61.

Spencer Hawes led the way for Philadelphia with 21 points and 14 rebounds as Orlando suffered their 10th straight defeat.

The Portland Trail Blazers held off a late fightback from the Minnesota Timberwolves to edge to a 100-98 win while the Utah Jazz beat the Sacramento Kings 98-91 after overtime.

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