NBA Scores And More: LeBron Burns The Magic, Spurs Tip The Lakers

Despite a furious Magic comeback attempt, King James led the Heat to victory. In other action, Antonio McDyess made a magnificent tip-in to help the Spurs past the Lakers and two Warriors connected on one of the longest alley-oops you'll see.

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Heat Vs. Magic: LeBron James Scores 51 Points, Buries Orlando

LeBron James had 51 points as the Miami Heat escaped the Amway Center with a 104-100 win over the Orlando Magic. James' performance was breathtaking in its completeness. The game lacked much in the way of defensive execution, but was just down-tempo enough that something like LeBron's night shouldn't have happened. He added eight assists to those 51 points, which means he scored or created by the pass about 80 percent of Miami's offense ... in a win ... over a really good team.

The Heat led by as much as 23 in the fourth quarter before Orlando stormed back. The Magic went on a 21-4 run in the mid-fourth, sparked by Jameer Nelson and Jason Richardson. But by the time Orlando caught up, there were just 23 seconds left, meaning they had to play the foul game. They got lucky on a Mike Miller turnover with 10 seconds left and the margin down to three at 103-100, but Ryan Anderson couldn't hit the tying shot and Dwyane Wade (remember him?) ended the game with a free throw.

LeBron started the game off with 23 in the first quarter. He added six more in the second quarter as Miami maintained a moderate lead before jumping out in the third, thanks to 11 from King James. LeBron had 11 more in the fourth, many from the line late, and Wade added seven of his 13 in the final period to help the Heat hold on.

It was LeBron's ninth career 50-point game, and his first since March 2009, quite a long span all things considered. He's had at least eight assists in seven of his nine games 50-point games (including Thursday's win); for comparison's sake, Kobe Bryant has had eight or more assists in three of his 24 career 50-point games.

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Spurs Vs. Lakers: Antonio McDyess' Fortuitous Tip Edges San Antonio Over L.A. In Defensive Struggle

As it turns out, rebounding did decide the outcome of the San Antonio Spurs' 89-88 win over the L.A. Lakers on Thursday. The concern had been that the Lakers had rebounded poorly on defense all season, and that the Spurs' superlative offensive rebounding, led by young DeJuan Blair, would exploit that. The irony of Antonio McDyess' heart-jolting tip-in to seal the game is that the Lakers actually did a great job on the glass until that fateful moment. San Antonio had just nine offensive rebounds in 41 opportunities to that point, about average in a category the Spurs expected to win.

Of course, these things have a funny way of working out. And so McDyess ensured that rebounding decided the game with a brilliant tip at the buzzer.

There's so much that has to go so right for that tip to fall. The Lakers immediately allege offensive goaltending, that the ball was in the cylinder. The TNT crew keeps us in suspense for a solid minute plus before finding the right angle that shows the ball was outside the cylinder and that the basket should count. It's high drama, high stakes fortune and a brilliant finish to a sloppy game full of weird bounces.

Kobe Bryant still took more shots than any other Laker (18, plus six free throws), but his performance was far more muted than the last time these teams met in December. Bryant hit just five of those 18 shots to total 16 points, but he added 10 assists and nine rebounds in the near triple-double. Pau Gasol led the Lakers with 19 points, and Andrew Bynum augmented his 10 points and 10 rebounds with a shocking six assists.

McDyess had six offensive rebounds in total, and as with the final play, Lamar Odom was frequently the victim. Gasol and Bynum were able to keep Blair off the glass (zero offensive rebounds), but Odom had no luck with McDyess. That final shot by Tim Duncan wasn't the best play I've ever seen, and Big Fun was pretty bad all night (eight points on 3-12 shooting). But it worked, and nights like that are rare for Duncan. Tony Parker had 21 points, and Richard Jefferson was a big boon with 18 points on 7-12 shooting.

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Bucks Vs. Warriors: Monta Ellis, Golden State Fly Over Milwaukee 100-94

Monta Ellis scored 24 points and the Golden State Warriors hit half of their three-point shots en route to a 100-94 victory over the visiting Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday. Ellis hit just one of his five three-point attempts, but his teammates hit 11-19 from long-range, with Dorell Wright hitting 4-7.

That doesn't include a bucket Wright got from really long-range, an alley-oop launch from Stephen Curry that traveled further than anything Baron Davis has delivered to Blake Griffin this season. Via SB Nation Bay Area:

That's about 70 feet of flight -- Stephen Curry is inside the opponents' three-point arc when he lets it fly. Wright does a terrific job finishing, but that pass is just incredible. The assist was one of plenty the Warriors' top scorers shared among themselves; Curry finished with five, and Ellis and Wright each had six.

The Bucks struggled to score consistently, despite the lack of luster Golden State's defense brings. Brandon Jennings was rather bad again, scoring two points on 1-6 shooting in 19 minutes. Milwaukee needs his punch from outside to balance the floor, and he doesn't have it right now. He did have six assists, though. Ersan Ilyasova led the Bucks with 23 points. Corey Maggette had 21 against his former team.

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