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MIAMI (AP) — If basketball fans in Miami came to see Kobe Bryant one last time, they were undoubtedly disappointed considering he spent the night on the bench in a sharp three-piece suit.
If they came to see Chris Bosh have the best game of his comeback season, they left happy.
Bosh scored a season-high 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Hassan Whiteside had 19 points and 15 rebounds in only 27 minutes of work, and the Heat pulled away in the second half to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 101-88 on Tuesday.
Luol Deng scored 14 and Dwyane Wade added 12 for Miami, which is 5-3 — with all five of those wins by double digits. The Heat led 50-49 after a back-and-forth first half, and then led by as many as 18 after halftime.
Nick Young made his first five shots, four of them from 3-point range, and finished with 17 for Los Angeles. Lou Williams and Metta World Peace each scored 14 for the Lakers, who played with Bryant sitting out somewhat unexpectedly to rest.
When time expired, Bryant and Wade met at midcourt, with one of Wade’s sons on the floor as well to meet the five-time NBA champion. They posed for photos, shared a hug and then Bryant walked off the court — giving high-fives to a few fans who lingered for possibly their final look at him in Miami. Bryant is contemplating retiring after this season, his 20th in the NBA.
Lakers: World Peace made his first NBA start in exactly 23 months. His last was Dec. 10, 2013, for New York at Cleveland. … The Lakers have committed at least 20 fouls in all seven of their games; they were whistled for 21 on Tuesday. … If Bryant doesn’t return next season, his final numbers in Miami: 23.8 points in 15 games, with the Lakers going 4-11 in those contests.
Heat: The Heat honor soldiers at every home game and have done so for years, but there was one of particular significance in the arena on Tuesday — U.S. Air Force Master Sergeant Jennifer Johnson, the mother of Heat guard Tyler Johnson. … Miami has blocked at least five shots in all eight of its games so far. The only other season where the Heat opened with a streak like that was 2010-11.
Longtime University of Miami trustee Alex Rodriguez — he’s better known as the New York Yankees’ designated hitter — was sitting at midcourt, and Hurricanes men’s basketball coach Jim Larranaga watched the game next to Heat President Pat Riley.
Also, several members of the U.S. men’s national soccer team were in the crowd and some took part in an on-court shooting contest during a second-quarter stoppage in play. The team has been training in South Florida to prepare for the start of 2018 World Cup qualifying.
WHITESIDE AT HOME
It was the fourth consecutive home game with a double-double for Whiteside, who reached that plateau in the second quarter.
Lakers: At Orlando on Wednesday.
Heat: Host Utah on Thursday.
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