Heat Stay Hot, Roll Past Kings 122-103
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MIAMI (AP) — Chris Bosh scored 25 points, Dwyane Wade added 20 and the Miami Heat put up a season high for points, rolling past the Sacramento Kings 122-103 on Friday night.
LeBron James had 18 points, eight assists and six rebounds while sitting out the fourth quarter for Miami, which has won four straight overall and 18 of its last 19 against the Kings.
Ray Allen added 18 and Mario Chalmers scored 16 for the Heat, who shot 61 percent.
DeMarcus Cousins led Sacramento with 27 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes. Ben McLemore scored 20 and Rudy Gay added 14 for Sacramento, which has now dropped the first three games of its four-game trip.
Jason Thompson and Isaiah Thomas each scored 11 for the Kings, who shot 58 percent — the second-best shooting effort by a losing team in the NBA this season.
They still lost by 19.
The Heat have now scored at least 100 in each of their last 13 meetings with the Kings. Each of Miami’s last eight wins in the series have been by at least 11 points. And Miami has now won 18 straight games over Western Conference opponents, two away from matching the longest regular-season streak ever posted by an Eastern Conference team. Boston won 20 straight over the West during a nine-month span of 1973.
The tone for a defense-challenged night was set early.
Bosh had 12 points midway through the opening period, the Kings scored more points in the first quarter (36) than anyone had against the Heat since March 2011 and Miami had seven dunks in the first 15 minutes — two of them by Allen, who entered the season with exactly zero slams and had not dunked twice in the same game since February 2011.
Back and forth, neither team seeming all that interested in stopping the other. The Heat had 29 baskets in the first half; 21 were either dunks, layups or tip-ins. There were 10 ties and nine lead changes in the half, one where no team ever led by more than seven.
By halftime, it was 67-61 Miami. The Kings shot 66.7 percent in the half and were actually trailing, a somewhat odd and difficult feat.
The last 59 teams to make at least two-thirds of their shots in an opening half all had the lead at intermission, according to STATS LLC. The last to shoot that well and still trail at a break was Boston, which was down 55-54 to Toronto on Nov. 27, 2009.
The Celtics got some comeuppance, running away from the Raptors in the third quarter that night.
Sacramento didn’t get to enjoy a similar scenario this time. Things got away from the Kings in the third.
Bosh, James, Wade and Shane Battier combined for 22 points on 9 for 14 shooting and Miami outscored Sacramento 31-21 in the third, building a 98-82 edge to take into the fourth. The Kings had five turnovers in that quarter, and Miami turned them into 11 points.
By then, the only remaining drama was whether James’ night was done (it was) and whether the Heat would shoot a franchise-best from the floor for the second time in a week. They fell short of that one, four nights after shooting a team-record 63.4 percent against Utah.
NOTES: The games on Christmas Day will have teams wearing short-sleeved jerseys, which is getting mixed reviews in the Heat locker room. “I haven’t actually worked out in them too much. I know my shooters are already upset,” James said. … Wade has 24, 27, 32 and 20 points in his last four games, all Heat wins. … Cousins shot 11 for 15 for the Kings, adding to his strong start this season. … Sacramento gave the Heat 32 points off turnovers and was outscored 70-60 in the paint.
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