NBA roundup: LeBron James leads Heat

LeBron James switched masks for Saturday’s game against Orlando, but it didn’t slow him down much.
Alan Diaz/Associated Press
LeBron James switched masks for Saturday’s game against Orlando, but it didn’t slow him down much.

LeBron James’s switch to a clear mask didn’t hinder his shooting eye, and he had 20 points Saturday night to help the Heat earn their seventh consecutive victory by beating the Orlando Magic, 112-98, in Miami.

At the NBA’s request, James dispensed with the black mask he wore Thursday when playing for the first time since he broke his nose. He missed only 4 shots, grabbed 9 rebounds, and had 7 assists.

Dwyane Wade scored 24 points and Chris Bosh 20 for the Heat, who shot 58 percent. Eleven players scored for the Heat, and their bench totaled 39 points.


The newer mask seemed to bother James more than the black one did, and he frequently took it off when the clock was stopped.

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‘‘It’s not comfortable,’’ he said. ‘‘Having something on your face isn’t comfortable, but it is what it is.’’

His streak of five consecutive games with more than 30 points came to an end, but he played only 31 minutes and took just 12 shots. After sitting out a week because of his broken nose, he avoided another injury when he went stumbling into the third row after making a fast-break layup and settled in an unoccupied seat.

The Heat improved to 10-1 since Feb. 1, and they've won their past four games by an average of 19 points. They completed a sweep of the four-game season series against their in-state rivals.

Wizards 122, 76ers 103 — Trevor Ariza made eight 3-pointers and scored a career-high 40 points to help visiting Washington win its sixth straight over Philadelphia.


Ariza made all six 3-point attempts in the first quarter for 24 points and finished 14 of 23 from the floor overall.

The 76ers lost their 13th straight game on the night they retired Allen Iverson’s No. 3. Iverson had his number sent to the rafters, fit between Maurice Cheeks’ No. 10 and Charles Barkley’s No. 34.

The Sixers had a rare sellout of 20,856 for Iverson’s triumphant night. The fans, though, saw the same old sorry Sixers.

Rockets 118, Pistons 110 — Terrence Jones had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Houston opened a big early lead and beat visiting Detroit for its third win in four games.

Jones finished 10 of 15 from the floor as Houston shot 50 percent for the game, including 61 percent in the first half. Houston scored 41 points in the first quarter and finished 11 of 33 from behind the arc.


Nets 107, Bucks 98 — Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and visiting Brooklyn never trailed in the second half against Milwaukee.

Thornton, playing in his third game for Brooklyn since being obtained in a Feb. 19 trade with Sacramento, came off the bench to make 8 of 13 from the field to help the Nets finish their road trip 4-3.

Grizzlies 110, Cavaliers 96 — Zach Randolph had 23 points and 14 rebounds, and the host Grizzlies used a big second half to defeat Cleveland.

Randolph had 17 points in the second half to help Memphis outscore Cleveland, 56-31, and rally from a 15-point deficit.

Timberwolves 108, Kings 97 — Kevin Martin scored 26 points, Kevin Love had 22 points and 10 rebounds, and Minnesota reached .500 (29-29) with a win over host Sacramento.

Trail Blazers 102, Nuggets 96 — Robin Lopez scored 18 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 16, and host Portland beat Denver to sweep the season series for the first time in 15 years.

Clippers 108, Pelicans 76 — Chris Paul scored 22 points, DeAndre Jordan added 12 rebounds, and host Los Angeles rolled over New Orleans.