LeBron James and company put on quite a show for some of the biggest names in sports on Sunday night. James finished with 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds, Chris Bosh added 15 points and the Miami Heat won their 26th straight game, cruising to a 109-77 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. The world's best were courtside in Miami. Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men's tennis player. Wladimir Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing king. Rory McIlroy, who sits atop the golf rankings for at least one more night. And James responded with another sterling performance, making 11 of 14 shots while helping Miami move within seven wins of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the league record of 33 in a row. Norris Cole scored 15 and Ray Allen added 14 for the Heat, who played without Dwyane Wade, held from the lineup because of right knee soreness that the team believes is minor. After overcoming yet another slow start, Miami begins a four-game road trip in Orlando on Monday, a swing that will also take the Heat to Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio. Charlotte led by 11 in the early going and was within five in the third quarter, but two huge spurts by the Heat were more than enough to put the game away. Miami used a 31-6 run in the first half to erase the deficit, and a 26-5 blitz in the second half finished the job. Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points, and Gerald Henderson had 18. James departed with about 8 minutes left, after perhaps the highlight of the night. Chris Andersen blocked a layup try by Walker, doing so with such force that the ball caromed right back into play and basically started a Miami fast break on its own. James capped the sequence with a spectacular dunk, his final points of the night. Djokovic clapped and smiled. McIlroy - who could lose his No. 1 ranking if Tiger Woods holds on and wins at Bay Hill on Monday - turned toward Heat owner Micky Arison and grinned. Klitschko's facial expression was one of disbelief. By then, the only order of business was for some fans to sing "Happy Birthday" to Bosh, which happened with about 3 minutes left. He turned 29 Sunday. The final score made it look easy, but there were a few frustrating minutes for Miami.
Heat win 26th straight, top Bobcats 109-77
Raleigh News & Observer | Mar 24