NBA Scores And More: LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Stomp Bobcats In Heat Win

The Heat took care of the Bobcats. In other action, Paul Pierce led the Celtics past the Wolves in a close game and Carmelo Anthony's 33 vaulted the Nuggets over the Rockets.

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LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Help Miami Heat Stomp Charlotte Bobcats

LeBron James exploded for 38 points and Dwyane Wade added 31 as the Miami Heat stomped the Charlotte Bobcats Monday night 96-82. The Heat are now 27-9, just a half-game behind the Boston Celtics for the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Miami led by just four at halftime, but the Heat's big three -- the Heatles, if you will -- collaborated to crack open the game in the third quarter. In that period, Wade scored eight points, James scored 17 and Chris Bosh tallied four and the rest of the Heat (that being Joel Anthony) added two points. That's pretty much the story of the Heat: rely on the three stars to score score score. It usually works.

Gerald Wallace missed the game for the Bobcats, and second-year wing Gerald Henderson slid into the starting five in his place. Henderson, a Duke product, scored just six points on 3-9 shooting and was a game-worst -20 on the floor. He played sparingly under from Charlotte coach Larry Brown, having been eclipsed by veteran defender Dominic McGuire in the rotation this season. But new Bobcats coach Paul Silas, possibly at the direction of the team management that drafted Henderson, has shown more faith in the young two-guard, as Gerald as played at least 22 minutes in three of the first four games of Silas' tenure. Henderson hadn't played that many minutes in any game under Brown this season.

The Bobcats defended the three-point line well, as the Heat shot just 5-15 from beyond the arc. Miami's designated shooters hit just 2-7 from downtown. But Charlotte couldn't capitalize by shooting well anywhere.

Rufus On Fire isn't pleased with Tyrus Thomas taking so many jumpers. Peninsula Is Mightier credits a solid defensive stretch from Miami in the middle of the game.


Carmelo Anthony Vaults Nuggets Past Rockets

Carmelo Anthony unleashed 33 points and 11 rebounds on the Houston Rockets as the Denver Nuggets slid to a 113-106 home victory. 'Melo shot 10-25 from the floor, but hit 13-14 from the line to buoy his total. The Rockets took 24 points on 10-19 shooting from Luis Scola, but only got eight points out of star two-guard Kevin Martin, who shot 3-15 and managed just one free throw attempt.

For Martin, it was the first time all season he didn't break into double-digits in scoring. It was also the first team since last April he had as few as one FTA. On the season, Martin has hit more free throws than anyone (250), and is fifth in attempts (279). He averages 8.2 FTAs a game.

'Melo averages 8.3, and repeatedly earned his trips on Monday. His center Nene was, as is typical, excellent with 16 points on 5-9 shooting and 11 rebounds. Arron Afflalo, the team's designated wing defender, also shot well for a change (15 points on 5-7) and six Nuggets in total scored in double figures.

The injury to Chuck Hayes has resulted in rookie Patrick Patterson seeing extended action for the first time as a pro. Patterson had six points, three rebounds and a surprisingly three blocks off the bench. He's still behind Scola, Jordan Hill and Brad Miller, but it's progress.

Andrew Feinstein of Denver Stiffs finds it difficult to root on the Nuggets with full commitment given that the team could be blown up at any minute.

I feel like I'm being teased into getting emotionally invested with a team that ultimately won't look as it does today. So while I'd love to have visions of a Western Conference Finals appearance dancing in my head when I go to sleep later, such a notion is nothing short of a mirage.

The Dream Shake is concerned that Hill hasn't been able to leverage the opportunity presented by Hayes' injury into results.


NBA Scores And More: Paul Pierce Pushes Celtics Past Wolves

The Boston Celtics needed all 48 minutes to put away the upstart Minnesota Timberwolves 96-93 on Monday night. Paul Pierce played through a sprained ankle to score 23 points, and Rajon Rondo racked up 16 assists in his second game back from injury. Kevin Love had 12 points and (ahem) 24 rebounds. Love rebounded 53 percent of the Celtics' misses while in the game, which is absolutely phenomenal.

The Celtics led by one point with Wolves guard Luke Ridnour looking to push Minnesota over the top. Ridnour drove the lane and was called for traveling. Take a look.

Ray Allen blocked the shot anyway, but had the play not been whistled dead, Allen could have been called for the shooting foul, or at the very least the Wolves would have taken the ball in from the sideline with 9.5 seconds on the clock. Ridnour still wasn't convinced he traveled after watching the replay several times.

The standard side overhead angle of the play shows two equally amazing things: how quickly Ridnour separated from Rondo (possibly the best point guard defender in the world) and how quickly Allen made up ground along the baseline.

Look at those old men movin'!

Canis Hoopus attempts to line up the specific not-bad decisions that got the Wolves to where they were with the macro sense of dread. CelticsBlog notes that at halftime Love had more rebounds (15) than Boston, in total (14).

In other action:

Magic 110, Warriors 90: Golden State actually led by nine at halftime. Orlando won the second half by the score 66-37. All eight Magicians who played at least a minute (sorry, Quentin Richardson) scored in double-digits. All eight of those dudes minus Dwight Howard and Brandon Bass hit at least one three.

Hornets 84, 76ers 77: These are two teams with identical problems: great defense, bad offense, few players who can hit shots reliably. The Hornets have Chris Paul, and that's the difference in a slog like this, even though CP3 had just 15 points and five assists. ("Just.") Philadelphia's starting line-up featured Marreese Speights, Jodie Meeks and Andres Nocioni, and I'm not even kidding.

Jazz 102, Pistons 97: Utah nearly lost a home game to a team like the Pistons, which shouldn't happen if the Jazz are as good as they think they are. Raja Not Roger Bell won the game with a big three-pointer inside one minute to go; Tayshaun Prince (who had 26) nor Tracy McGrady (one rebound from a triple-double) could answer in the final seconds.

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