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Wade, Heat wear down struggling Lakers
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - Dwyane Wade scored 16 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter as the Miami Heat pulled away for a 107-97 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers at American Airlines Arena.
LeBron James added 32 points and seven rebounds, while Chris Bosh posted a double-double with 12 points and 11 boards for the Heat, who have won five straight.
Mario Chalmers contributed 13 points, four rebounds and three assists in the victory.
Kobe Bryant paced the Lakers with 28 points and nine assists as Los Angeles lost for the second time in three games.
Earl Clark finished with 18 points and nine rebounds, and Dwight Howard had 15 points and nine rebounds in defeat.
It was a 53-53 game at the break following a back-and-forth first half that included seven lead changes and seven ties, and the teams continued to trade blows in a third quarter that saw the lead exchange hands three more times as neither team took an advantage larger than five points.
A personal 7-2 run by James in the final minute of the third gave Miami a 78-73 lead into the fourth, and after Clark and Jodie Meeks each connected on a 3-pointer around a Wade jumper to bring the Los Angeles within 82-81, a personal 7-1 run by Wade extended the Heat's advantage to 89-82.
The Lakers managed to cut their deficit to five on three occasions from there, but they could get no closer and James capped a 9-2 spurt with a jumper from the right elbow to hand the Heat a 102-90 cushion with 1 1/2 minutes to play.
Los Angeles got no closer than nine the rest of the way.
Miami held an early 8-4 lead in the first quarter before the Lakers reeled off seven straight points to jump ahead, 11-8.
The remainder of the first quarter saw four lead changes and four ties as the teams traded baskets until Steve Blake's 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave the Lakers a 26-25 edge heading into the second quarter.
After a Norris Cole layup tied the game at 31-31 early in the second, Howard led the way with six points during a 9-2 push to put Los Angeles ahead, 40-33, with just under eight minutes remaining in the half.
The Heat responded with an 11-4 run to knot the score at 44-44 on Battier's 3- pointer, but they could not take the lead until Wade's dunk with under a minute left in the second quarter gave Miami a 51-50 advantage.
Metta World Peace put the Lakers back on top with a shot from beyond the arc at the other end before a Bosh layup made it a 53-53 game at the break.
Miami has won six of the last seven meetings between the teams, including five straight at home ... The Heat have won seven straight at home overall and improved to 22-3 at American Airlines Arena this season ... Los Angeles fell to 9-18 on the road.
02/10 19:03:16 ET
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