Sunday, December 17, 2017

James misses mark, but Heat rolls

OKLAHOMA CITY — LeBron James had 39 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, and the Heat trampled the Thunder 110-100 in a Thursday night showcase before the All-Star break.

Chris Bosh chipped in 20 points and 12 rebounds as the Heat won its sixth straight against the Thunder dating to last season's NBA Finals. Miami swept the season series after winning on its homecourt on Christmas, following up after taking the last four games of the Finals.

James was in position to continue his NBA-record run of games with at least 30 points and 60 percent shooting to seven, but he missed from a couple of steps beyond the 3-point line as the shot clock ran down with just more than a minute left.

That dropped him to 14-for-24 in the game, or 58 percent. James had said before the game that he didn't care if the streak continued, as long as Miami kept winning.

"I'm not conscious about it. I'm just playing," he said at the shootaround. "I'm just going out and playing my game. I'm not conscious about the shots that I take. The shots that I take are good shots. ... If a guy is off of me, I shoot. If he's on me, I drive. If one of my teammates is open, I pass the ball. It's simple."

Kevin Durant had 40 points and eight rebounds but missed his first seven shots as Oklahoma City fell behind. Russell Westbrook had 26 points and 10 assists, with six turnovers.

Dwyane Wade had 13 points and eight assists for the Heat.

Give me Kobe, Jordan says: Former Bulls star Michael Jordan told NBA TV that he would choose the Lakers' Kobe Bryant and his five NBA titles over the Heat's James.

"Five beats one every time I look at it," Jordan said. "And not that (James) won't get five. He may get more than that, but five is bigger than one."

James wants no part of the topic, posting on Twitter: "I'm not MJ, I'm LJ."

Garnett future: Celtics center Kevin Garnett said this weekend "is definitely my last All-Star Game." But Garnett, 36, did not elaborate and declined to say if he will retire after this season.

Around the league: Commissioner David Stern said he expects a concrete financing plan from Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson within two weeks with the aim of settling the Kings' future by mid April. Johnson is trying to line up investors to buy the Kings and keep them in his city. A Seattle-based group has a deal to buy 65 percent of the team and move it there. … Miami forward Udonis Haslem, a former Gator, sat against the Thunder with a lower leg bruise. … Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who bruised his right arm Wednesday, said if it is not improved by Sunday, he may sit out that night's All-Star Game. … The Celtics' Paul Pierce said he has been playing with a pinched nerve in his neck.

Heat 110, Thunder 100

MIAMI (110): James 14-24 7-9 39, Battier 2-6 0-0 6, Bosh 10-14 0-0 20, Chalmers 2-7 0-2 6, Wade 5-13 3-3 13, Allen 3-9 6-6 13, Lewis 1-5 0-0 3, Andersen 0-3 1-2 1, Cole 4-7 0-0 9, Anthony 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 41-88 17-22 110.

OKLAHOMA CITY (100): Durant 12-24 15-15 40, Ibaka 3-6 0-0 6, Perkins 4-7 0-0 8, Westbrook 7-19 12-13 26, Sefolosha 2-4 0-0 4, Martin 2-5 4-4 9, Collison 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 2-5 2-2 7, Liggins 0-0 0-0 0, P.Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Orton 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 32-73 33-34 100.

Miami 32 31 25 22— 110

Oklahoma City 17 29 23 31— 100

3-Point GoalsMiami 11-29 (James 4-8, Battier 2-5, Chalmers 2-5, Cole 1-2, Lewis 1-4, Allen 1-5), Oklahoma City 3-13 (Martin 1-2, Jackson 1-3, Durant 1-5, Westbrook 0-1, Sefolosha 0-2). Fouled OutWade, Durant. ReboundsMiami 51 (James, Bosh 12), Oklahoma City 43 (Durant 8). AssistsMiami 23 (Wade 8), Oklahoma City 16 (Westbrook 10). Total FoulsMiami 29, Oklahoma City 23. TechnicalsJames, Collison, Durant, Jackson, Oklahoma City defensive three second 2. A18,203.


NFL playoff chase

Playoff chaseNFCPos. Team Rec Div ConfDivision leaders1. Eagles-E-* 12-2 5-0 10-12. Vikings-N-z 11-3 3-1 8-23. Rams-W 10-4 4-1 7-44. Saints-S 10-4 3-1 7-3Wild card5. Panthers 10-4 2-2 6-46. Falcons 8-5 2-1 7-2Contention7. Lions 8-6 4-1 7-48. Seahawks...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee: From ending ugly streaks to title to love match

David Lee has not played a home game at Madison Square Garden for nearly eight years, but the memories don’t soon fade once a player has inhaled the rarefied air of life as a Knicks fan favorite. Lee knows this better than most.One stubborn example: ...
Updated: 9 minutes ago

LeBron makes statement with shoes, play in win

WASHINGTON — LeBron James played the first half wearing a pair of shoes — one black, one white — reading "equality" in gold capital letters and finished with 20 points, 15 assists and 12 rebounds to lead the Cavaliers past the Wizards 106-99 on Sunda...
Updated: 23 minutes ago
Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

Bucs fans call for Jon Gruden — why was he fired to begin with?

TAMPA — The beers and the "love ya bros" were flowing Saturday night at the Hooters in Tampa. Jon Gruden, who will be inducted into the Bucs Ring of Honor at halftime of tonight’s home game against the Falcons, worked the room, greeting family, frien...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Cabreras win Father-Son Challenge in Orlando

ORLANDO — Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. closed with 12-under 60 for a three-shot victory Sunday in their debut at the Father-Son Challenge. "This is certainly my best week of the year," said Cabrera, 48, who has one of the best nicknames on tou...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Why Jon Gruden was the best mistake the Bucs ever made

Warren Sapp pointed to the sky. And then he dropped Kurt Warner to the ground.The Bucs had just intercepted Warner for the fourth time. Sapp’s block cleared the way for Derrick Brooks to cross the goal line and clinch the win.Before Tampa Bay p...
Updated: 7 hours ago

Captain’s Corner: Go with live shrimp in deep water

Water temperatures are around 62 degrees throughout most of the bay, so bait has pushed off deep and, for the most part, been ineffective. The cooler water has the fish hunkered down and their metabolism has slowed. When this happens, the inshore fis...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 3 hours ago
Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

Lightning wins at Avalanche with four-goal second period

DENVER — The Lightning left for Las Vegas Saturday for the first of four nights in Sin City.But Tampa Bay’s first regret came before it boarded the charter flight; the Lighting lamented making Saturday’s 6-5 win over the Avalanche much more thrilling...
Published: 12/16/17
Updated: 12/17/17

Joe Smith’s takeaways from Lightning-Avalanche

Could tell just how much Ryan Callahan meant in the Lightning dressing room by hearing teammates talk about his latest injury. Steven Stamkos said he was "sick to my stomach." Brayden Point called him a "heart and soul player." Teammates all saw how ...
Published: 12/16/17