LeBron James capped off his latest stellar performance by sinking a last-second 3-pointer to give the Miami Heat a 111-110 victory over the Golden State Warriors.
James did it all for the two-time defending champions, scoring 36 points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out nine assists Wednesday night at the ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California.
Playing without star guard Dwyane Wade, who had nerve irritation in his left foot, the Heat managed to eke out the victory thanks to James' heroics and also solid contributions from Chris Bosh and reserve Michael Beasley, who added 19 points and 16 points, respectively.
It appeared like the story of the game might be first-time All Star Stephen Curry, who scored 29 points on 8-of-14 shooting, including 3-of-3 from 3-point range, and also notched seven assists.
Curry banked in a shot with just under 15 seconds to go while being fouled by the Heat's Mario Chalmers. After he made the free throw to complete the 3-point play, the Warriors led 110-108 and looked like they might have a morale-boosting win over the NBA's top team heading into the All-Star break.
But the four-time league MVP dribbled the shot clock down to almost zero and then sent the Warriors players and fans home frustrated by making his fourth 3-pointer of the night.
The Warriors, who were also missing a major component of their team, center Andrew Bogut, fell to 31-22.
Miami improved to 37-14 and picked up a full game on the Eastern Conference-leading Indiana Pacers, who fell 81-73 to the Dallas Mavericks Wednesday night and now lead the Heat by just 2 1/2 games.
In other action involving elite NBA teams Wednesday, the Los Angeles Clippers topped the Portland Trail Blazers 122-117, the Houston Rockets edged the Washington Wizards 113-112, and the San Antonio Spurs cruised past the Boston Celtics 104-92. EFE