LOS ANGELES (AP):
The Los Angeles Lakers missed having Kobe Bryant out on the court on Christmas Day. Same for LeBron James.
Playing without its biggest star, Los Angeles stayed right with the Miami Heat for most of the game before slipping to a 101-95 loss against the defending NBA champions on Wednesday.
Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade each scored 23 points, and James added 19 points in the Heat's sixth straight win. Bosh grabbed 11 rebounds and Ray Allen made four 3-pointers for 12 points, helping Miami improve to 5-0 against the Lakers on the holiday.
"I knew we would get a good game out of them, and I think the NBA wanted a good game," James said, noting the blowout results of the first two games on the league's holiday schedule.
Bryant was relegated to the sideline with his fractured left knee, leaving him unable to extend his NBA record for Christmas Day appearances to 16.
"It's not as special when Kobe's not out there," said James, who shared a post-game hug with Bryant.
Streaky reserve Nick Young scored 20 points for the Lakers, who were level four times in the fourth quarter. Jodie Meeks added 17 points, Xavier Henry had 14 and Pau Gasol added 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Bosh scored 13 of his 23 points in the first half, when Miami trailed 27-21 after the first quarter.
The Lakers played a competitive game against the loaded Heat despite their poor shooting and the absence of Bryant, Steve Nash (nerve root irritation) and Steve Blake (right elbow). They led by 10 points and never trailed by more than that.
Other results: Golden State edged the Clippers 105-103, the Thunder thrashed the Knicks 123-94, the Rockets beat the Spurs 111-98 and the Bulls had a 95-78 win over the Nets.