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James leads Heat past Thunder

Heat Sink Thunder In Rematch

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- LeBron James scored 33 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a bloody nose and the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-81 on Thursday night.

James went down with 5:50 remaining after he was struck by Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka on a drive to the basket. James finished the dunk, but was bloodied and left the court with a towel over his face.

Dwyane Wade had 24 points and 10 assists and Chris Bosh added 24 points for Miami, which won its fourth straight and avenged an earlier loss to Oklahoma City.

Kevin Durant scored 28 points for Oklahoma City. Russell Westbrook, who had missed the previous 27 games after having a surgery on his right knee, started and scored 16 points.

Oklahoma City lost at home for the first time since Jan. 5.

The Thunder overcame an early 18-point deficit on Jan. 29 to roll past the Heat 112-95 in Miami, and the home fans hoped for a regular-season sweep against the team that beat Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals.

The crowd erupted as Westbrook was introduced as a starter. His first minute of action was furious and had the crowd on its feet. His first basket was a two-handed, fast-break dunk 37 seconds into the game, and he got a steal 17 seconds later.

The excitement quickly evaporated. James scored 10 points in the first 3:11 on 5-for-5 shooting and Miami made 13 of its first 14 shots to take a 28-13 lead. James scored 16 points to help the Heat lead 34-17 at the end of the first quarter.

The Heat extended their lead to 19 points in the second quarter before the Thunder rallied behind Westbrook. He scored nine points in the final 1:55 of the first half, including a dunk in the closing seconds, to trim Miami's lead to 54-47 at the break.

Miami took control early in the third quarter. James scored six points during a 10-0 run that helped the Heat take a 64-49 lead. The Heat extended their lead to 75-53 on a 3-pointer by James with just over five minutes left in the third quarter.

Durant scored seven points in the final 2:46 of the quarter to trim Miami's edge to 76-65 heading into the fourth quarter.

Miami reasserted itself in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter. Bosh hit a 3-pointer to bump the Heat's lead back up to 19 with just under 10 minutes to go.

NOTES: Thunder G Reggie Jackson, who started while Westbrook was out, entered the game in the first quarter as a reserve. ... Durant scored just two points on 1-for-5 shooting in the first quarter. ... Miami shot 76 percent in the first quarter but made just 7 of 17 shots in the second and was outscored 30-20. ... Perkins left the game in the third quarter with a left groin strain and did not return.

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Basilio February 21 2014 at 6:09 PM

Ha, no blood, no game!! :-)

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Pantino4 February 21 2014 at 6:02 PM

He was fouled.

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aj718720 February 21 2014 at 4:33 PM

I'm surprised he bleeds. Anyone that can make a move and travel another 12 feet to the hoop all without dribbling shouldn't bleed! I think that's fake blood, he got it from WWE!

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rvdaj February 21 2014 at 4:03 PM

GO HEAT!!!!!!!!

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cindythomas1960 February 21 2014 at 3:30 PM

Marred? lol A grown man got a bloody nose! Who writes this CRAP? lol

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pete February 21 2014 at 2:48 PM

Kevin is not a natural leader. He is a leader by virtue of his talents; which by the way, extend far beyond hoops. On the other hand, James is a natural at leading and consensus building. Put all the MVPs, scoring titles, etc., aside. These men have superlative talents & skills to succeed & achieve in any area of life they would've embarked upon. Basketball is only a game, but life is the ultimate arena one must compete & survive in. And only the true winners will survive. And they that know their God will be strong & do exploits. Even the youth will faint & be weary; and the young men will ultimately fail. But they who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will mount up with wings like Eagles. They will run, and not get weary. They will walk, and not faint!

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1 reply to pete's comment
spikecogan February 21 2014 at 3:37 PM


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pete February 21 2014 at 2:30 PM

LB is a implicitly a team player, more so than Durant. Durant is by nature an introverted, do it yourself. Nothing wrong with that. However, James is extroverted, & has a natural proclivity for inclusivity; it's part and parcel of him existentially.

It's in James DNA to be inclusive; to get everybody involved, and make everybody be the best they can be. It's impossible to be on his team and not get better, because he his going to make you better by virtue of his unselfish inclination to trust you want to be better.

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bransa24 February 21 2014 at 12:53 PM

Lebron is the best player in the NBA right now and showed his sense of humor by posting himself as Bane James mask and all. One thing this hit has done is to make him more determined to win another championship. What Ibaka did was to light the fuel. Go Heat!!!

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PlotkinUSA February 21 2014 at 12:46 PM

... Once upon a time, I rooted for the New York Baseball Giants and Football Giants and the Rangers and the Mets!! (Yes ... though I was born in the Bronx & lived there until the summer of the 6th grade ... when we moved to Lynbrook on non-NYC Long Island ... I accepted the Yankees ... but always loved the Mets!)

... then ... from the day I moved to Miami , in 1970, I became ... and ... still am ... a Dolphins fan!! And when the Heat and then the Marlins became a reality, I'm proud to say I switched my allegiance to them ... and ...yup(!) ... I am still proud to root for all of them!!!!

(Was a season ticket holder for the Phins and the Heat until I moved to Charlotte County on the Florida Gulf Coast in 1998 ... Still am and always will be a fan of those Flordia teams!!!)

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grgrytckr February 21 2014 at 12:39 PM

Who cares. Lets get on with Baseball season.

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