LeBron’s 32 Lift Heat Over Pistons
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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) — LeBron James scored 32 points, including the game’s last six from the free throw line, to lead the Miami Heat to a 101-98 win over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.
The Heat trailed 98-95 after a 3-pointer by Detroit’s Jonas Jerebko, but James made two free throws to cut the deficit to one with 1:19 left. After Damien Wilkins fumbled the ball out of bounds for the Pistons, James drove straight at Austin Daye, drawing another foul and putting Miami up 99-98.
He made two more free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining after Detroit’s Greg Monroe missed inside.
Chris Bosh hit his first seven shots and finished with 27 points for Miami — which was without Dwyane Wade, who sat out because of a right ankle injury.
Daye scored a career-high 28 points for the Pistons.
Miami led 90-80 in the fourth quarter, but the Pistons rallied with a 12-0 run, taking the lead when rookie Brandon Knight made a midrange shot after James nearly intercepted a crosscourt pass to him.
Bosh answered with five straight points for the Heat, but Monroe scored inside while being fouled and his free throw tied the game. After a miss by Shane Battier, Jerebko made an open 3-pointer from near the top of the key to give Detroit a 98-95 advantage.
After a Miami timeout, Daye poked the ball away from James, and Knight came up with it and was fouled. But he missed both free throws, and Detroit wouldn’t score again.
Wade missed his sixth consecutive game. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra says he is still day-to-day.
Detroit’s Tayshaun Prince missed the game because of a family matter, and guard Ben Gordon was out with a sore shoulder.
James went 13 of 14 from the free throw line after entering the game shooting 73 percent. He had a 20-for-37 stretch from the line over three games earlier this month, but he looked plenty calm Wednesday with the game on the line.
Bosh handled most of the scoring early, going 6 for 6 in the first quarter with a 3-pointer.
At one point, Miami led 14-9 and Bosh had 13 points. He hurt the Pistons from the perimeter and inside, and the Heat led 24-17 after the first.
Daye did his best to respond for Detroit, scoring 18 points in the second quarter. Detroit moved the ball well on offense, and Daye made four 3-pointers in the period.
Miami led by as many as 11 in the second but had to settle for a 56-50 halftime lead after Daye’s 12-footer at the buzzer.
At the end of the third quarter, it was James’ turn to make a last-second shot. His 3-pointer gave Miami an 80-74 lead.
(© 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)