Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 12/25/12
MIAMI -- LeBron James had 29 points, eight rebounds and nine assists as the Miami Heat won an intense battle between the two top teams in the NBA, beating the Oklahoma City Thunder 103-97 Tuesday night. James won his duel with Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, who had 33 points, seven rebounds and three assists. The game set an attendance record at AmericanAirlines Arena with 20,300. The Heat (19-6) won their fifth game in a row, improving to 14-2 at home. The Thunder (21-6) lost their second in a row after a franchise-best, 12-game win streak was snapped Thursday in a 99-93 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Heat led 96-92 before Durant made one of two free throws with 1:07 left. Durant added a dunk with 44 seconds remaining to make it 96-95. With 18 seconds to go, a James pass found Chris Bosh alone under the basket for a dunk. Durant then hit a mid-range jumper with 15 seconds left, slicing Miami's lead to 98-97. The Thunder fouled Ray Allen, but he made two free throws to put the Heat back up by three. On Oklahoma City's final sequence, Durant missed a 3-pointer, which was contested by James. Thunder guard Russell Westbrook got the rebound and missed a 3-pointer with three seconds left. Bosh grabbed the rebound and was fouled. The Heat added three free throws, including one on a technical foul called against Westbrook, who thought he was fouled on his final shot. The Heat and Thunder, who entered the day with the best records in their conferences, met for the first time since Miami beat Oklahoma City in the 2012 NBA Finals. Tuesday's game was electric from the start, and each team's superstar -- James and Durant -- picked up a first-quarter technical foul. With 10:52 left in the game, Westbrook got free for a potential breakaway layup, but he was fouled from behind by the Heat's Shane Battier. Westbrook landed hard and took exception. Both teams rushed to the spot under the basket were Westbrook was fouled, and Miami's Dwyane Wade and Oklahoma City's Serge Ibaka emerged with technical fouls after shoves were exchanged. The game was very physical. Allen took a hard shot to his right shoulder late in the fourth quarter, but he stayed in the game. Wade left the game in the third quarter due to leg cramps before returning. He finished with 21 points in 38 minutes. Heat point guard Mario Chalmers added a season-high 20 points, and Bosh had 16. Westbrook scored 21 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds. NOTES: Bosh, who missed the Heat's previous game on Saturday due to the flu, was back in the starting lineup Tuesday. ... Shooting guard Kevin Martin, who missed the Thunder's previous game Thursday at Minnesota due to a right thigh contusion, returned to action against the Heat. He came off the bench to score 15 points. ... Miami coach Erik Spoelstra said the Thunder is better in some ways than last season, even without the traded James Harden. "They are defending at a higher level," Spoelstra said. "The ball is in Westbrook and Durant's hands more. When you have the ball in their hands more, that becomes a challenge." ... James committed a foul in the first quarter, the first time he was whistled in 254 minutes. ... Thunder coach Scotty Brooks on James: "He has a chance to be the MVP for the next 10 years." ... Up next, the Thunder return home to face the Dallas Mavericks (12-6) on Thursday. ... The Heat will have to guard against a letdown when they play the Bobcats (7-20) in Charlotte on Wednesday. The Heat lost earlier this month on the road against the Washington Wizards, who are an NBA-worst 3-22.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Magic to bench Victor Oladipo, start Channing Frye

10 unheralded NFL players set to make a major impact in Week 12

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

Tyrann Mathieu says Blaine Gabbert has a ‘better grip on what’s going on’

NCAA frees Kansas blue chipper Cheick Diallo

Rockets hold in-season training camp in attempt to rebound from disastrous start


Kansas City Chiefs: No Jamaal Charles, no problem

How the Warriors can win 72 games

Frank Gifford suffered from CTE, family announces

Syracuse basketball gets one scholarship per year back

LeBron James says his back feels better than it did a year ago

Sean Payton on firing Rob Ryan: Status quo ‘would be madness’

5 outrageous predictions for Week 12 of the NFL season

How the Detroit Lions became the face of football on Thanksgiving Day

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 college football season

Jimmy Butler wants Mason Plumlee to pay his $2,500 fine

Jose Bautista's bat flip inspires a holiday sweater

The Kristaps Porzingis comparison project

What’s next for Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns?

Gisele Bundchen asks Tom Brady ‘all the time’ why he still plays football

Highlighting the biggest NFL games of Week 12

Greg Olsen calls Jason Witten 'the epitome of a pro'

Are Sidney Crosby and Mario Lemieux growing apart?

Stop sleeping on Giannis Antetokounmpo

Worst-case scenarios for end of college football season

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 matchups for Week 12 of the NFL season

The 10 most disappointed fan bases of the 2015 CFB season

Gronk: Takes mental toughness not to overeat on Thanksgiving

Blue Jays fans create website in effort to keep David Price

The five most overrated teams in the Week 13 coaches' poll

10 storylines for Week 13 of the college football season

Ranking the 10 best games of 2015 college football rivalry week

Examining the Mavericks' hot start

Johnny Bench(ed): Manziel demoted to third string

Mike Trout, four years in

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker