Masked James leads Heat past Knicks
MIAMI (AP) — Miami’s LeBron James, clad in a face-covering black mask to protect a broken nose, scored 31 points to lead the Heat to a 108-82 blowout win over New York on Thursday.
The Heat maintained a yawning 12-1/2 game lead in the Southeast Division ahead of Washington, which had a triple-overtime road win against Atlantic Division leader Toronto.
James was clearly unencumbered by the mask, hitting 13 of 19 shots and topping 30 points for the fifth consecutive game.
Dwyane Wade added 23, shooting 10 of 13 from the field, for the Heat, which outscored New York 23-3 over the final 7:02 of the third and won its sixth straight game. Miami shot 61 percent, while the Knicks shot 37 percent.
Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for New York, but none in the final 21:38. The Knicks won only two games in February.
Washington’s Trevor Ariza scored the go-ahead basket on a fast-break layup with 1:20 left in the third overtime to secure a 134-129 win at Toronto.
Marcin Gortat fouled out with 31 points and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who have won five straight.
DeMar DeRozan scored 34 points in 58 minutes for Toronto.
In the day’s other games, league-leading Indiana beat Milwaukee 101-96, with Roy Hibbert scoring 24 points and adding 12 rebounds, while Brooklyn won 112-89 over Denver, to record their first win in Colorado for seven years.