James, Heat pull away from Lakers in L.A.
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - LeBron James filled the stat sheet with 39 points, eight assists and seven rebounds to lead the Miami Heat past the Los Angeles Lakers, 99-90, at the Staples Center.
Dwyane Wade added 27 points, five assists and four rebounds for the Heat, who won their second straight game and three of four overall.
Kobe Bryant paced Los Angeles with 22 points on just 8-of-25 shooting against a stifling Miami defense that forced 20 Laker turnovers.
Metta World Peace followed with 16 points and Dwight Howard contributed a double-double with 13 points and 16 rebounds as Los Angeles had its brief two- game win streak snapped.
"I thought we played well enough to beat them," Lakers coach Mike D'Antoni said. "At the end of the day, turnovers killed us."
Pau Gasol returned from a five-game absence because of a concussion and recorded 12 points, four rebounds and four assists off the bench.
Los Angeles held a slim 45-44 lead heading into the third quarter and it remained a one-possession game as the teams traded baskets until Miami reeled off a 10-3 run to jump ahead, 62-55, on James' three-point play with 6:04 left.
A personal 6-0 run by Antawn Jamison brought the Lakers back within one, but they could not take the lead and Miami scored 11 of the final 15 points of the third quarter to take a 73-65 lead into the fourth.
The Heat held a 78-69 advantage a little over two minutes into the fourth quarter until Bryant, who entered the frame shooting just 3-for-16 from the floor, netted 10 points in a 14-3 run to put the Lakers on top, 83-81, with 6 1/2 minutes left in the game.
But Wade answered with a runner at the other and the Heat scored the game's next seven points to regain the lead.
Bryant connected on a shot from beyond the arc a bit later to knot the score at 90-90 with 2:33 to play, but Los Angeles would not make another shot in the game as Miami scored the final nine points to close out the win.
After World Peace converted a driving layup to open the scoring, Miami took advantage of four Los Angeles turnovers as James and Wade each threw down a pair of emphatic dunks to jump ahead, 8-2.
Howard, however, put back a Bryant miss to put a halt to the run and start a personal 5-0 spurt to make it a one-point game.
The remainder of the first quarter saw two lead changes and two ties as the teams traded baskets until another James dunk was followed by a pair of Shane Battier free throws to give the Heat a 26-22 edge heading into the second.
Miami made the first two field goals of the second quarter to stretch its lead up to eight before Los Angeles embarked on a 13-3 run to go on top, 35-33, as the Heat failed to make a shot from the floor for nearly seven minutes.
A couple of Chris Bosh field goals around a James floater snapped the drought and gave Miami back the lead, but the Lakers responded with an 8-2 push capped with a World Peace trey to regain the lead and Los Angeles carried a 45-44 edge into the break.
The Heat shot just 31.6 percent from the floor in the second quarter compared to Los Angeles' 47.4 percent shooting in the frame, but Miami was able to score 19 points off 16 first-half turnovers to keep the game close.
Miami recorded a season-high 14 steals in the game ... The Heat improved to 10-9 on the road this season, while the Lakers fell to 12-10 at home ... The Heat scored 23 points off Los Angeles' turnovers ... Miami turned the ball over six times, resulting in two points for the Lakers ... The Heat held a 68-28 advantage in points in the paint ... James, Wade, Howard and Bryant were each named starters for the 2013 All-Star Game. Bryant was the top vote- getter.