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(Sunday, January 26th)
Final Score: Miami 113, San Antonio 101
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Chris Bosh scored 24 points and LeBron James tallied 18 as the Miami Heat delivered a dominating performance that resulted in a 113-101 drubbing of the San Antonio Spurs at American Airlines Arena.
The first meeting between the two powers since last year's NBA Finals was no contest, as the Heat shot an impressive 58.1 percent from the floor and never trailed in dealing the Spurs only their fourth loss in 20 road outings this season.
"They shot it really well, came with their 'A' game," said Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich of the Heat.
Bosh hit on 9-of-10 attempts and Mario Chalmers went 6-of-8 in a 16-point, seven-assist effort. James added seven rebounds and six assists before sitting the entire fourth quarter with Miami up big.
"It was a good win," said Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra. "It wasn't a perfect game, but our guys competed and did enough to get the win."
San Antonio received 23 points from Tim Duncan but couldn't match the Heat's outstanding offensive execution. Boris Diaw and Marco Belinelli finished with 15 and 12 points, respectively, in defeat.
The Heat were firing on all cylinders all throughout the afternoon, and particularly so early on. Miami knocked down three of its first four field goal attempts in opening the contest on an 8-0 run and shot a scorching 72.2 percent (13-of-18) in the first quarter. The strong display enabled the Heat to build a 10-point lead prior to a pair of Belinelli baskets that cut the Spurs' deficit to 34-28 at period's end.
San Antonio then outscored the Heat 10-4 to begin the second quarter to draw even, but Miami regained the upper hand over the waning stages of the half. James buried a midrange jumper and a 3-pointer on back-to-back possessions, igniting a 10-4 spurt that Ray Allen capped with a triple that sent the Heat into the break up 58-50.
Duncan led a 6-0 burst that pulled the Spurs within four points early in the second half, before Miami went on a 15-3 tear over the next four-plus minutes to break the game open.
Bosh deposited six points during the sequence and Chalmers netted five, the last three coming on a long jumper that staked the Heat to a commanding 81-65 advantage with just under four minutes left in the third quarter. Miami was ahead by as many as 21 points in the frame and cruised into the fourth up by a 91-71 count.
"The first and third quarter were basically the same. We didn't do a very good job of starting out defensively," said Popovich. "It's a bad combination if we're not disciplined enough defensively."
The Heat's lead grew to a high of 29 points at 104-75 with 7:11 left, with San Antonio making the final outcome more respectable by outproducing Miami's reserve corps the rest of the way.
Dwyane Wade returned to action for Miami following a four-game absence due to knee soreness, recording eight points and five assists over 24 minutes in his first game coming off the bench since Jan. 6, 2008 ... Duncan surpassed Shaquille O'Neal for sole possession of sixth place on the NBA's blocked shots list and moved past Allen Iverson for 20th all-time in points. He now has 24,691 points and 2,733 blocks for his career ... Heat center Greg Oden played a season-high 13 minutes ... Miami improved to 8-1 at home against Western Conference teams, while the Spurs suffered their first road loss (6-1) against the East.
01/26 17:09:56 ET