James' 3-pointer lifts Heat past Warriors, 111-110

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 13, 2014 at 1:26 am •  Published: February 13, 2014
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OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — With one eye on the defense and the other on the clock, LeBron James let the time tick down before carrying the Miami Heat into the All-Star break in a way only he could.

James capped one of his best games of the season in dramatic fashion, making a step-back 3-pointer with less than a second remaining to propel the Heat past the Golden State Warriors 111-110 Wednesday night and into the break on a high note.

"I was going for the win the whole time," James said.

With teammate Dwyane Wade scratched from the lineup with a nerve irritation in his left foot, James shouldered the load for the two-time defending NBA champions. He finished with 36 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists, saving his best moment for last.

After James' fellow All-Star Stephen Curry hit a bank shot to start a three-point play that put the Warriors ahead by two, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra chose not to call timeout.

Instead, James got the ball in the half court and swished a 27-footer over Andre Iguodala with two-tenths of a second left. James stared into the stands, then patted his chest and high-stepped on the sideline, leaving the announced sellout crowd of 19,596 stunned and silent.

"Better offense," James said, "beats better defense every time."

James shot 14 of 26 from the floor, including several dazzling dunks, to help the Heat go ahead by 21 points in the third quarter. Chris Bosh added 19 points and five rebounds, and reserve Michael Beasley scored 16 points in a thrilling victory for Miami, which won without Wade for the second straight night.

The Heat (37-14) head into the break 2½ games behind Indiana (40-12) in the Eastern Conference.

"I just told them in the locker room that if I had realized he was going to work that thing all the way down to the end of the clock, I would have ran out there and screamed timeout," Spoelstra said. "I tried to design something but once he started to wind it up I decided I better not break his rhythm and let a great player make a great play, make or miss, and that's what he did."

Curry finished with 29 points and seven assists, and David Lee had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Warriors (31-22), who rallied to take an 87-84 lead early in the fourth quarter before the teams traded baskets late.

Golden State, which beat the Heat in Miami earlier this season, had no answer for the four-time NBA MVP this time.

"That was like the ultimate buzz kill," Curry told teammates in the Warriors' locker room. He could later be heard shouting "Wow!" from the showers.