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  • James, Heat slip past Suns

  • PHOENIX — LeBron James almost never has two bad games in a row.
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  • PHOENIX — LeBron James almost never has two bad games in a row.
    So after matching his season low with 13 points in Miami's' loss at Utah last Saturday, the four-time MVP was back being LeBron again in Phoenix.
    James scored 37 points and, as usual, was the critical component of the big plays down the stretch in the Heat's 103-97 victory over the Suns on Tuesday night.
    He also had five steals, and his prettiest play might have a laser pass to Chris Bosh for a 3-pointer that pretty much sealed the victory with 40.3 seconds to go.
    It was James' highest-scoring game since Dec. 28 and just two points off his season high.
    "It was good to see us respond," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "And this response started yesterday in practice. There wasn't any dancing around it, we were flat and we didn't bring a game necessary to win on the road against Utah."
    They brought that energy, and a healthy respect, to the Suns, though.
    "That (Phoenix) is a really good team," James said. "They are the surprise team of our league this year."
    Bosh added 21 points and Mario Chalmers 13 for the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade because of a migraine.
    Gerald Green scored 21 of his 26 points in the second half for Phoenix. Goran Dragic and Channing Frye had 15 apiece.
    The Suns lost to Miami for the eighth time in a row.
    "They make plays at the end of games," Phoenix coach Jeff Hornacek saiad. "They have done it for the last two years, two and a half years, now."
    The Heat converted 16 Suns turnovers into 24 points.
    Of his five steals, James said it was something he's been doing for years.
    "Just being able to anticipate plays, seeing the pass before it happens or shoot the gap like that," James said. "I have been doing it throughout my career."
    Dragic, the Suns' catalyst, was frustrated by a defense that sent various players at him, forcing him to get rid of the ball earlier than he wanted and keeping him from his trademark penetration. He wound up 4 of 12 shooting.
    Bulls 100, Hawks 85
    At Chicago, Joakim Noah scored 19 points as part of a triple-double, and the Chicago Bulls beat the Atlanta Hawks.
    Noah added 16 rebounds and 11 assists, and Taj Gibson had 24 points and 12 rebounds for the Bulls, who had six players score in double figures. Chicago won its fourth straight against the Hawks and sixth in a row at home versus Atlanta.
    The Hawks have lost a season-high four straight overall.
    Bobcats 114, Mavericks 89
    At Charlotte, N.C., Al Jefferson scored 30 points, Anthony Tolliver added 22, and Charlotte earned a rare win over Dallas.
    The Bobcats had lost 17 of 18 against the Mavericks, but they scored 60 points in the paint and tied a season-high with 12 3-pointers to snap Dallas' five-game winning streak.
    Cavaliers 109, Kings 99
    At Cleveland, Luol Deng scored 22 points, and Cleveland avenged a 44-point loss to Sacramento.
    The Cavaliers, routed 124-80 in Sacramento on Jan. 12, took a double-figure lead early in the second quarter and were in control the remainder of the game. Cleveland has won three in a row for the second time this season.
    Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 pick in the draft who has struggled most of the season, recorded career highs with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Dion Waiters added 20 points for Cleveland.
    Grizzlies 92, Wizards 89
    At Memphis, Tenn., Nick Calathes and Marc Gasol scored 18 points each, and Memphis overcame a career-best 37 points from Washington's Bradley Beal to win.
    Beal was unable to convert down the stretch, though, including missing a 21-footer with 12.9 seconds left that would have tied the game.
    Zach Randolph split two free throws with 11.5 seconds left to give the Grizzlies a 92-89 lead. John Wall's 3-pointer with about 1 second left rattled around before popping out.
    Jazz 96, Lakers 79
    At Los Angeles, reserve Alec Burks scored 13 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and the Utah Jazz sent the injury-riddled Los Angeles Lakers to a franchise record-tying sixth straight home loss.
    Gordon Hayward scored 15 points and reserve Jeremy Evans had 14 for Utah, which enjoyed a 55-40 rebounding edge. Derrick Favors had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
    Chris Kaman had 25 points and 14 boards for the Lakers, who have dropped nine of 11 overall and 21 of 26 since Dec. 21.
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