Basketball — NBAThursday, February 20, 2014
Heat pull away from Mavs
DALLAS — LeBron James drove for an emphatic dunk during a decisive fourth-quarter run and went skipping to the bench after a Dallas Mavericks timeout. The Miami Heat star has sure had fun against his old nemesis this season.
James scored a season-high 42 points and the Heat tuned up for a showdown with Oklahoma City by beating the Mavericks 117-106 on Tuesday.
Miami came out of the NBA All-Star break by winning for the sixth time in seven games heading into James’ duel with Kevin Durant today in Oklahoma City. It’s the last game of the Heat’s second six-game road trip, a season high.
James, the 10-time All-Star, was nearly impossible to stop, topping his previous season high of 39 points in a win over Dallas in Miami in November.
This victory completed Miami’s third straight season sweep of the Mavericks — six consecutive wins — since losing to them in the 2011 NBA Finals, James’ first season after his celebrated signing with the Heat.
Dirk Nowitzki had 22 points to lead the Mavericks, who couldn’t follow up a win at Indiana, the other top team in the Eastern Conference, in their final game before the break.
In other games (home team in CAPS): INDIANA 108 Atlanta 98; Cleveland 114 PHILADELPHIA 85; Toronto 103 WASHINGTON 93; Charlotte 108 DETROIT 96; MEMPHIS 98 NY Knicks 93; MILWAUKEE 104 Orlando 100; Phoenix 112 DENVER 107 (OT); San Antonio 113 LA CLIPPERS 103.