Los Angeles, CA, United States (4E Sports) – Dwyane Wade and LeBron James combined for nine points in the last 3:24 to carry the Miami Heat to a hard-earned 101-95 triumph over the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day at Staples Center.
After Pau Gasol’s jumper to trim the gap to 92-85, Wade restored a nine-point lead with a layup.
Then, Wade answered Wesley Johnson’s triple with another layup off an assist by Mario Chalmers to make it a 96-88 game.
The Lakers closed within four, 96-92, after a triple by Nick Young and a Jodie Meeks split from the charity stripe with 1:25 left.
However, Wade kept the Lakers at bay with a short jumper before James added two foul shots for a 100-92 lead.
Johnson buried a triple with 21 seconds left to cut the deficit to five but James iced the Heat’s sixth straight win with a split from the foul line.
Wade and Chris Bosh finished with 23 points apiece while James added 19 points and eight rebounds as the Heat improved to 22-6.
Bosh also grabbed 11 boards while Ray Allen contributed 12 points off the bench for the Heat, who pounded the Lakers with 58 points in the shaded lane.
Young scored 20 points off the bench, Meeks added 17 and Xavier Henry had 14 for the Kobe Bryant-less Lakers, who slipped to 13-16 after losing their third straight game.
Pau Gasol had 13 points and 13 boards while Johnson added 12 for the Lakers, who led by as many as 10 late in the first period.