James lifts Heat over Bobcats 104-96 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 18, 2014 at 10:46 pm •  Published: January 18, 2014
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The large icepack on LeBron James' right shoulder said it all.

Attempting 25 shots in a game will do that, the four-time MVP said.

James overcame a mid-game shooting slump to score 34 points and help the Miami Heat beat the Charlotte Bobcats for the 15th straight time, 104-96 in overtime Saturday night.

"The game presented itself for me to be aggressive and I was able to shoot a lot. It felt, well... that's why I'm icing my shoulder now," James said with a laugh.

James wasn't laughing much in the second quarter.

After hitting his first five shots from the field, James missed his next nine shots. But he turned that around late in the second half, hitting 8 of 11 shots from the field to close the game, including two driving layups in overtime.

"I came out shooting the ball extremely well and then I just hit a cold streak," James said. "My teammates kept confidence in me and I was able to get it going again."

Chris Bosh added 25 points and seven rebounds for Miami.

It was a costly loss for the Bobcats as starting point guard Kemba Walker sprained his left ankle midway through the third quarter when he stepped on Chris Bosh's foot. He did not return.

Walker left the locker room on crutches and with a boot on his left ankle. X-rays were negative, but coach Steve Clifford said Walker will have an MRI on Sunday to determine the extent of the damage.

"He's going to be out a while," Clifford said.

Ironically, Al Jefferson missed the first two regular season games after he stepped on Bosh's foot in the preseason and turned his ankle.

Without their floor general, the Bobcats didn't stand much of a chance against the Heat.

Jefferson had 22 points to lead the Bobcats, who were playing their fourth game in five nights.

Jefferson had averaged 29.6 points over the previous three games, but the Heat clamped down on him in the second half and the Bobcats went cold from the field.

"If he can catch it whenever he wants to, there is not much you can do," Bosh said. "We had traps and were able to give him different looks and I think that changed his timing up a little bit and played to our advantage."

The Heat never trailed in overtime.

James' two free throws gave Miami a 98-95 advantage.

After Mario Chalmers blocked Jefferson's put-back try from behind, James then drove to the basket and scored on the right side to push the lead to five with 1:22 left in overtime. He tried the left side on the next possession against Anthony Tolliver and succeed with a driving left-handed layup with 36 seconds remaining to push the lead to six.