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Heat dominate Hornets, 106-90

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MIAMI (AP) - Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James finished with 24 points and seven assists, and the Miami Heat snapped a two-game slide by topping the New Orleans Hornets 106-90 on Saturday night.

Chris Bosh scored 13, and Ray Allen and Shane Battier each added 11 for Miami, which took control by outscoring the Hornets 33-10 over the final 11 minutes of the first half. New Orleans started the game 10 for 12 from the floor, then shot 9 for 31 over the rest of the half.

Ryan Anderson scored 24 for New Orleans, which got 20 from Robin Lopez and 12 from Jason Smith.

Miami shot a season-best 58 percent and turned 19 New Orleans turnovers into 22 points.

James has scored at least 20 points in all 18 Miami games this season. He tied a Heat record by scoring 20 in 23 straight regular-season games (going back to last season) and 39 consecutive games overall, including playoffs. He made 10 of his first 11 shots on Saturday.

The Heat have been plagued by defensive issues at times throughout this season, especially lately, and they looked to have returned in the early going on Saturday. The Hornets ran out to a 25-18 lead by the time this game was 7 minutes old, playing nearly flawlessly in the early going.

It didn't last much longer.

Not only did Miami soon clamp down on the defensive end, the Heat offense began really clicking as well.

Take away Smith's 5-of-7 effort in the second quarter, and the rest of the Hornets shot 2 for 13 in those 12 minutes when the game turned. Miami outscored New Orleans 33-15 in the quarter - James, Bosh and Wade outscored the Hornets by three - and seven different Heat players had at least one assist in that period alone.

New Orleans' starters were 1 for 2 in the pivotal second quarter, both of those shots by Lopez. Anderson was limited to 31 seconds of time on the court in the second because of foul trouble, and the other three Hornets starters besides Lopez failed to get a shot off in more than 12 combined minutes.

By halftime, Miami's lead was 64-47, and the Heat weren't in much trouble again - though had to work in the final minutes to finish off the team with the worst record so far in the Western Conference. Anderson and Greivis Vasquez made consecutive 3-pointers to get the Hornets within nine late in the third quarter. And with 4:40 left, Lopez's three-point play got New Orleans within 95-87.

That was the last gasp for New Orleans. Battier took a pass from James and made a 3-pointer from the right corner with just under 3 minutes left, giving the Heat a 101-87 lead, and Wade sealed it with a jumper on the next Miami possession, part of what became an 11-0 game-deciding run by the hosts.

NOTES: Bosh missed three dunk attempts in the game, including two on one possession in the third quarter. ... Allen is now five points shy of tying Adrian Dantley (23,177) for 22nd on the NBA's career scoring list. ... Miami improved to 9-1 at home. ... Since a 3-2 start, New Orleans has dropped 12 of 14. ... The Hornets played without injured rookie Anthony Davis, the No. 1 pick in this year's draft, for the 11th straight game. He was on the court for a pregame workout.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2015
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

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