It wasn’t pretty, but the Miami Heat avoided a big letdown and got the win they needed.
LeBron James had 27 points, 12 rebounds and 8 assists as the Heat handed the Bobcats their 16th straight loss, 105-92, Wednesday night in Charlotte, N.C.
Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and had nine rebounds as Miami extended its winning streak to six.
One night after an emotional win over Oklahoma City, James and Wade made sure there would be no lull against the Bobcats.
While the Heat led, 55-38, at halftime, they didn’t put the Bobcats away until late.
Charlotte cut the Miami lead to 84-82 when Gerald Henderson completed a 3-point play with 7:16 left. But James knocked down a 3-pointer, Wade hit a pair of jumpers, and Shane Battier added a 3-pointer from the right corner to complete an 11-3 run that pushed the lead to 10.
Miami wasn’t challenged again.
Kemba Walker had 27 points, and Ramon Sessions added 19 points for the Bobcats (7-21), who haven’t won since Nov. 24.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game his team respected the Bobcats. He hinted he was a little worried about the energy Miami expended against the Thunder and whether the Heat would get up for a team that had lost 15 straight.
Spoelstra talked to his players before the game, and his words seemed to work.
James made sure the Heat brought the intensity with four dunks in the first seven minutes.
Miami opened a 9-0 lead in the blink of an eye behind a 3-pointer by Mario Chalmers and three straight dunks — two by James and another by Bosh. James was the catalyst in the first quarter with 11 points — 8 coming on fast-break dunks — with four steals and four rebounds.
Nuggets 126, Lakers 114 — Corey Brewer matched his career high with 27 points and Denver overcame a 40-point effort by Kobe Bryant to beat Los Angeles for its seventh straight win at home.
Brewer hit four of his six 3-pointers in the final 12-plus minutes, helping the Nuggets hold off the Lakers.
Cavaliers 87, Wizards 84 — Tristan Thompson’s 3-point play with 24.4 seconds remaining gave Cleveland its first two-game winning streak of the season as the Cavaliers won in Washington.
Kyrie Irving, who had 26 points to lead Cleveland, made one of two free throws with 9.5 seconds left.
Hawks 126, Pistons 119 — Josh Smith scored 31 points, Al Horford added 22 and host Atlanta beat Detroit in double overtime.
The Hawks blew a 22-point, fourth-quarter lead as Detroit reserves Will Bynum and Charlie Villanueva scored a combined 26 points in the final period of regulation.
Spurs 100, Raptors 80 — Tim Duncan scored 15 points and host San Antonio snapped Toronto’s five-game winning streak.
Bucks 108, Nets 93 — Brandon Jennings scored 25 points, Monta Ellis added 20 points and a season-high six steals, and host Milwaukee beat Brooklyn for the 13th straight time.
Rockets 87, Timberwolves 84 — James Harden scored 17 of his 30 points in the fourth quarter in Minneapolis, and Houston rallied to win its fifth straight.
76ers 99, Grizzlies 89 — Dorell Wright scored 28 points and Spencer Hawes had 20, season-highs for both, and Philadelphia snapped a six-game road losing streak in Memphis.
Knicks 99, Suns 97 — J.R. Smith sank a baseline 21-footer at the buzzer after a Phoenix turnover with a second to play, giving visiting New York the victory.
Hornets 97, Magic 94 — Robin Lopez had a season-high 29 points and Greivis Vasquez scored 27 points as New Orleans snapped an 11-game losing streak with a victory in Orlando.
Warriors 94, Jazz 83 — Stephen Curry scored 23 points, David Lee added 18 and Golden State beat Utah in Salt Lake City.
Trail Blazers 109, Kings 91 — LaMarcus Aldridge had 28 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists to lift host Portland over Sacramento.
. . .
The game between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls was postponed by a snowstorm that hit the Indianapolis area.
No date has been set for rescheduling the game.