STAPLES CENTER (AP) — LeBron James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists while hitting a season-high five 3-pointers, and the Miami Heat thrived on the holiday stage in a 96-80 victory over Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday.
Chris Bosh had 24 points and 13 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade added 18 points on a sore knee for the Heat, who won for the 14th time in 15 games while flustering the defending champions into a terrible offensive performance.
Although both teams called this game a television curiosity rather than a potential NBA finals preview, it clearly meant something to James, who outplayed Bryant again in his second straight Christmas win at Staples Center.
Bryant and Pau Gasol scored 17 points apiece for the Lakers, who fell behind early.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)