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(Saturday, December 22nd)
Final Score: Miami 105, Utah 89
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - LeBron James poured in 30 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists as the Miami Heat took care of the Utah Jazz, 105-89, on Saturday at American Airlines Arena.
James shot 11-for-20 from the floor and scored at least 20 points for the 29th consecutive game. Dwyane Wade netted 21 points and added seven rebounds and seven assists for the Heat, who improved to an impressive 13-2 at home this season and have won four straight overall.
Shane Battier started in place of Chris Bosh, who missed the game due to illness, and finished with 15 points for Miami. Ray Allen donated 13 points in the victory.
"That is a physical team, and without Bosh, guys really stepped up," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We had a good burst in the third. We had some good defensive plays and Shane was able to knock down some shots off our good defense."
Marvin Williams netted a team-high 16 points, while Gordon Hayward finished with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting for the Jazz, who have dropped four of their last five.
Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors chipped in 11 and 10 points, respectively, in the setback.
The sides traded baskets for most of the first quarter as an easy slam by Udonis Haslem off a nice feed from Miller tied things at 19-19 with 2:47 to go in the stanza.
Following a Utah timeout, Mike Miller came up with a steal and Norris Cole drained a trey to give the Heat a slim 22-19 lead and the home side held a 28-25 advantage after one quarter.
A dunk by Joel Anthony early in the second session gave the Heat a 35-29 lead, but the Jazz stayed close for the duration of the frame as a free throw by Hayward following a technical foul on James pulled the Jazz within 45-43 with 32.2 ticks on the clock.
Millsap missed on Utah's final possession of the half, which led to an 18- footer by Haslem at the other end, giving Miami a 47-43 lead at halftime.
The Heat broke the game open in the third quarter, opening the stanza with a 13-2 run, capped by a pair of James free throws to make it a 60-45 game with 8:40 on the third-quarter clock.
James dominated the quarter, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including an easy finger roll with 4:20 to go in the session, giving the Heat a 69-49 advantage.
Utah would not go quietly, however, and closed the quarter with a 14-4 burst to cut the deficit to 73-63 heading into the final period.
Jamaal Tinsley drained a deep trey early in the fourth to pull the Jazz within seven, but the visitors would not get any closer and the Heat pulled away, leading by as many as 23 down the stretch.
"They came out with a nice run in the third quarter. It was a close game until then," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said. "We had to fight our way back in it. We didn't have out pace and as a result we turned the ball over."
The Heat improved to 13-4 over their last 17 matchups with the Jazz ... Miami has scored more than 100 points in each of their past four wins ... The Heat shot 52.1 percent from the floor, while holding the Jazz to 41.1 percent ... The contest featured five lead changes and three ties ... Utah turned the ball over 20 times, leading to 26 Miami points.
12/22 23:09:19 ET
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