Bosh dominates in key stretch for Heat

AP

It’s not common for Chris Bosh to put up a big number of shots.

Maybe the Miami Heat should make it happen more often.

Bosh made his final eight shots on the way to a 31-point night, LeBron James added 27 points and 13 rebounds and the Heat never trailed in a 109-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday.

Bosh was 15-for-22 from the field, 9-for-10 after halftime and 5-for-5 in the final quarter, when the Lakers made runs but never got the lead.

“We know what he’s capable of doing,” James said. “When he’s got his midrange working like that he’s pretty dangerous. And that rim looked mighty big for him tonight.”

Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole each finished with 11 points to help the Heat beat the Lakers for the eighth time in their last nine meetings. Ray Allen added 10, and Miami shot 58 percent and outrebounded the Lakers 48-35.

Jodie Meeks and Pau Gasol each scored 22 points for the Lakers, who lost for the 14th time in their last 17 games. Nick Young added 19 points — needing 20 shots to do it — for Los Angeles, which nearly came all the way back from a 16-point second-half deficit.

“They are probably battling complacency,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said of the Heat. “But all that really matters is winning championships. That’s their problem. We’re just trying to win a game — two different teams on two different tracks.”

Bosh had the biggest shot of the night with 54.4 seconds left, head-faking his way free at the top of the key, stepping in and hitting a 6.1-meter shot to give Miami a 108-101 lead and making it a three-possession game. The Heat forced a miss on the Lakers’ next trip, then held on from there.

Miami improved to 28-5 when Bosh scores at least 25 points and 9-0 when he gets at least 20 shots, those records including postseason play.

“I like it,” Bosh said. “It’s fun, especially when they’re going in. If you go 8-for-20, that’s no fun. But when the shots are falling and teammates are looking for me, it’s a good feeling.”

Miami was without Dwyane Wade for the fourth straight game and 13th time in 43 contests this season, giving him more time to rest his oft-problematic knees. Allen started again in Wade’s place.

Blazers 110, Nuggets 105

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had a career-high 44 points and 13 rebounds, and the Trail Blazers rallied for a victory over Denver.

Wesley Matthews added 24 points for Portland (32-11), which snapped a two-game losing streak coming off a 2-2 road trip. The Blazers have not lost three straight this season.

Wilson Chandler had 18 points for the Nuggets (20-21), who have lost four of their last five games after a five-game winning streak.

The Blazers trailed by as many as 15 points in the third quarter, but chipped away at Denver’s lead en route to victory.