LeBron James created plenty of buzz with his dunking exhibition after practice on Monday. One day later, he gave fans plenty more to talk about with the All-Star Game only a few days away. James never has competed in the All-Star weekend’s dunk contest and likely never will, but dunks like the one he delivered in the third quarter against the Suns on Tuesday at U.S. Airways Center are why fans will be begging for James to participate in the exhibition until he retires. James’ windmill dunk on a breakaway was one of his best highlights of the season in the Heat’s 103-97 victory against the Suns. Later, his breakaway dunk in the fourth quarter gave the Heat a seven-point lead and helped put away the NBA’s most surprising team of the season. “I’m feeling really good right now,” James said. “My legs are starting to come back to me and I’m able to get out on the break much faster right now.” James had five steals, including two that sprung him for dunks in transition. The Heat had 12 steals overall and forced 16 turnovers for 24 points. “It helps when we’re able to load our defense and I’m able to be a recipient of guys putting pressure on the ball,” James said. “I was able to get a couple [steals] tonight. We want to create turnovers and put pressure on the ball and pressure on the weak side and, when we have an opportunity, guys shoot the gaps.” Projected by Las Vegas to win fewer than 20 games this season, the Suns (30-21) are a legitimate playoff contender in the Western Conference, but the defending back-to-back champions extended its winning streak against Phoenix to eight games despite Dwyane Wade missing the game with a migraine headache. With Wade back at the team hotel, James scored 37 points and Chris Bosh added 21 in a bounce-back effort after losing to the Utah Jazz on Saturday. James was 12 of 22 from the field and Bosh went 8 of 11 from the floor. Overall, the Heat shot 47.4 percent and out-rebounded the Suns 41-36.
LeBron James scores 37 points as Heat repels Suns
Miami Herald | Feb 12