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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Chris Bosh scored 21 points to help the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats 98-92 in a preseason game Tuesday night.
LeBron James added 10 points and eight assists for the Heat (4-2), who gave Dwyane Wade the night off. Ray Allen added 15 points off the bench for Miami, which shot 52 percent and hit 11 3-pointers.
Ramon Sessions and Kemba Walker each scored 24 points for the Bobcats (1-5), who shot just 36 percent. Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, the No. 2 overall draft pick, had four points on 2-for-8 shooting.
The game was held at PNC Arena, about 2½ hours northeast of Charlotte and home to North Carolina State of the Atlantic Coast Conference as well as the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes. The Bobcats also played New Orleans in Charleston, S.C., on Oct. 11 in an effort to expand their fan reach within the Carolinas.
While the Bobcats were the home team, James and the reigning champion Heat certainly drew their share of cheers from the Raleigh fans — many of whom crowded near the tunnel trying to get an autograph from James as he walked off the court.
Miami led by 18 late in the third quarter before the Bobcats rallied to within 92-90 on Walker’s layup with about 4 minutes left. But Charlotte couldn’t tie the game or push ahead against the Miami reserves, including one possession when big man Bismack Biyombo missed a shot in the lane for the tie that led to a fast-break layup for Miami at the other end.
Miami led by 12 in the first half and 49-44 at the break, but ran off 10 straight points in the third quarter — including a pair of three-point plays from Bosh — to stretch out the lead. Miami closed the third quarter with a flurry of 3-pointers from Rashard Lewis, Allen and Garrett Temple to push the margin to 81-63 shortly before the end of the period.
Charlotte hung around through the fourth quarter before rallying, though James, Bosh and the Miami regulars were on the bench by that point.
The Bobcats played without Ben Gordon due to a right ankle strain and Byron Mullens because of a right knee bruise.
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