=== Heat, Lakers square off in South Beach ===
 
 (SportsNetwork.com) - When the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers used to play,
 it was must-see TV.
 
 Nowadays, it's not quite the same.
 
 Yes, there will still be anticipation Thursday night when the Lakers visit the
 two-time defending NBA champs, but the matchup has lost some of its cache.
 
 Kobe Bryant is not in the lineup for the Lakers, battling a broken bone in his
 knee.  He's scheduled  for further  evaluation when  LA gets  home after  this
 seven-game road trip, where it is 2-2 so far.
 
 Even  Steve  Nash is  gone and  before the  rash of  injuries last season, the
 Lakers weren't the same old Lakers.
 
 The Heat have been fine, but not great of late.
 
 They've won three of four, but lost four of seven and their 93-86 victory over
 the  Boston  Celtics on Tuesday showed  some signs of greatness, but also some
 signs of fatigue.
 
 The  Heat led  by as many as  18 in the first  half, but trailed by two in the
 fourth  quarter before  LeBron  James netted  seven of  the  game's last  nine
 points.
 
 James  scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter and also grabbed eight
 boards  and dished out four assists for Miami, which was coming off a 2-4 road
 trip.
 
 "Versus a team like this they're going to bring a lot of energy and effort and
 you have to match that," James said. "We were ready for anything tonight."
 
 Dwyane Wade got the night off and Chris Bosh (16) and Chris Anderson (13) were
 the Heat's only other double-figure scorers besides James.
 
 Miami shot 51.4 percent from the field and held Boston under 40 percent.
 
 The  Lakers had  a two-game winning streak snapped in Chicago on Monday night.
 They fell 102-100 in overtime as they are out on their long Grammy trip, which
 still has stops in Orlando and New York.
 
 Taj  Gibson  had less  than a  second to  get a  shot off  and barely beat the
 overtime buzzer with a layup off an inbounds pass from Mike Dunleavy.
 
 "I  was  looking at the  backboard hoping  it would go  red before it left his
 hand," hoped Nick Young.
 
 Young became the first Lakers player to eclipse the 30-point mark this season,
 but  his 31 weren't enough to earn Los Angeles a third straight win. Pau Gasol
 finished with 20 points, 19 boards and five blocks in the setback.
 
 Jodie Meeks added 16 points and Ryan Kelly chipped in 13.
 
 The  Heat beat the  Lakers on Christmas Day at the Staples Center and have won
 three in a row in this series. LA has dropped five in a row in South Beach and
 its last victory in Miami came on Feb. 10, 2008.
 
 01/23 10:32:03 ET