Final Score: Miami 98, LA Lakers 87
MIAMI - The showdown between LeBron James and Kobe Bryant was completely one-sided Thursday, with the former filling the stat sheet to lead the Heat to a 98-87 victory over the Lakers. James, after missing the pregame shootaround with flu-like symptoms, poured in 31 points to go with eight assists, eight rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Bryant shot just 8-of-21 from the field and logged 24 points, 11 coming in the final 3:02 after the outcome had essentially been decided. Chris Bosh contributed 15 points and eight boards for Heat, who have won back- to-back games on the heels of a three-game slide despite being without Dwyane Wade (ankle). Pau Gasol totaled 26 points and eight rebounds, while Andrew Bynum had 15 and 12 in defeat.
Final Score: Houston 90, New Orleans 88 (OT)
HOUSTON - Samuel Dalembert's put-back slam with 11 seconds left in overtime lifted the Rockets to a 90-88 victory over the Hornets on Thursday. Dalembert finished with 15 points and 17 rebounds despite twisting his ankle in a fourth quarter which saw the Rockets squander a 12-point lead. Kevin Martin scored a game-high 32 as the Rockets won their fifth straight. Courtney Lee added 17 points in his second game back from a calf strain. He was the only Houston reserve to score. Jason Smith paced the Hornets, losers of six straight, with 17 points. Jarrett Jack and Marco Belinelli both had 15 while Trevor Ariza added 10.
Final Score: Dallas 94, Utah 91
SALT LAKE CITY - Shawn Marion scored 22 points to go along with seven rebounds and Rodrigue Beaubois scored a career-best 17 off the bench, as Dallas held off Utah, 94-91. Dirk Nowitzki added 12 points and Lamar Odom scored 11 for Dallas, which snapped a two-game skid. Jason Kidd dished out 11 assists and Jason Terry added 10 points in the win. Al Jefferson posted 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds, while Paul Millsap recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds for Utah, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an end. C.J. Miles scored 17 points in the loss.