LeBron James had 39 points and eight assists, Dwyane Wade added 27 points on his 31st birthday and the Miami Heat held off the Lakers, 99-90, in Los Angeles Thursday night to finish the defending NBA champions’ six-game road trip with three wins.
Ray Allen scored 7 of his 9 points in the final 5 minutes as the Heat repelled a late charge by the Lakers, who lost for the seventh time in nine games.
Kobe Bryant scored 13 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, which rallied for a brief lead midway through the final period before James and Allen secured the Heat’s second win in their last eight road games against the Lakers.
Dwight Howard had 13 points and 16 rebounds, but missed two key free throws with 1:51 left while Miami pulled away, capping the All-Star starting center’s 5-for-13 effort at the line.
Metta World Peace scored 16 points for the Lakers, who committed 20 turnovers and didn’t score in the final 2½ minutes.
Pau Gasol had 12 points and four rebounds in his return from a five-game absence with a concussion for the Lakers, who had hoped to build on consecutive victories following a six-game losing streak that knocked them well out of the Western Conference playoff picture.
Knicks 102, Pistons 87 — Carmelo Anthony returned to his Olympic gold medal past and scored 26 points to lead NewYork over Detroit at O2 Arena in London.
Anthony scored 18 in the first half as the Knicks (25-13) jumped out to a 16-2 lead before holding a double-digit lead for most of the game.
Amar’e Stoudemire added 17 points for the Knicks and J.R. Smith scored 16. Will Bynum led the Pistons with 22 points.
The Pistons (14-25) were the home team at the arena, the site of the Olympic gold-medal game last year.
Clippers 90, Timberwolves 77 — Jamal Crawford scored 22 points, Blake Griffin added 20 and Los Angeles hardly broke a sweat in cruising over Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Lamar Odom grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists, and the Clippers outscored Minnesota’s bench, 45-23, to overcome Chris Paul’s third straight missed game because of a knee injury.
Luke Ridnour scored 21 points and Ricky Rubio had 4 points and six assists in his first start of the season for the Timberwolves, who lost their fifth straight game.
Paul’s backup Eric Bledsoe has played with a maturity that has allowed the Clippers to not miss a beat.
Bucks 98, Suns 94 — Mike Dunleavy hit a 3-pointer with 57.4 seconds left to cap a 10-0 run and Milwaukee pulled away to snap a 24-game losing streak in Phoenix.
Monta Ellis scored 24 points and Larry Sanders added 19, while Dunleavy and Brandon Jennings had 16 apiece for the Bucks, who had not won in the Valley since Feb. 21, 1987.