Few Clouds 33° Good Morning
Few Clouds 33° Good Morning

Heat beat Bobcats by 32 for 26th straight win

MIAMI -- LeBron James and company put on quite a show for some of the biggest names in sports last night.

James finished with 32 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds as the Miami Heat won its 26th straight game, cruising to a 109-77 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats.

The world's best were courtside in Miami: Novak Djokovic, the top-ranked men's tennis player; Wladimir Klitschko, the world heavyweight boxing king, and Rory McIlroy, who sits atop the golf rankings for at least one more night, among others.

And James responded with another sterling performance, making 11 of 14 shots while helping Miami move within seven wins of matching the 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers for the league record of 33 wins in a row.

Chris Bosh and Norris Cole scored 15 points each and Ray Allen added 14 for the Heat, which played without Dwyane Wade, held out of the lineup because of right knee soreness that the team believes is minor.

Miami begins a four-game road trip in Orlando tonight, a swing that will take the Heat to Chicago, New Orleans and San Antonio.

Charlotte led by 11 in the early going and was within five in the third quarter, but two huge spurts by the Heat were more than enough to put the game away. Miami used a 31-6 run in the first half to erase the deficit, and a 26-5 blitz in the second half finished the job.

Kemba Walker led Charlotte with 20 points and Gerald Henderson had 18.

James departed with about eight minutes left after perhaps the highlight of the night. Chris Andersen blocked a layup try by Walker, doing so with such force that the ball caromed right back into play and basically started a Miami fast break on its own. James capped the sequence with a spectacular dunk, his final points of the night.

Djokovic clapped and smiled. McIlroy -- who could lose his No. 1 ranking if Tiger Woods holds on and wins at Bay Hill Monday -- turned toward Heat owner Micky Arison and grinned. Klitschko's facial expression was one of disbelief.

By then, the only order of business was for some fans to sing "Happy Birthday" to Bosh, which occurred with about three minutes left. He turned 29.

New York Sports